The Value and Importance of A Growth Mindset

--Originally published at Flipped Learning

This is an older post from Cliff that we are syndicating here today. I think educators can always benefit from a reminder about sharing the idea of the growth mindset with our students! - KW

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Higher Learning Commission's Annual Conference in Chicago. The conference, which focused heavily on accreditation for institutes of higher education, also included several breakout sessions on assessment practices. The last session I attended at the conference, "Using the Growth Mindset to Encourage Faculty & Staff Use of Assessment" was outstanding.

Led by Dr. Eric Haas, Psychology Faculty member at Maricopa Community College, the session provided great context for how instructors ought to approach learning and assessment at all levels of education. After providing data to show that anxiety surrounds assessment, as well as how a fixed mindset can sometimes be detrimental to learning, Dr. Haas provided a wonderful synopsis of the value of teaching every student as if they have a growth mindset.

In order for any educator to effectively teach students, we must all come to one fundamental conclusion: Assessment IS NOT the goal; it is a tool! Learning IS the goal! Learning, the process by which students grow, is at the fundamental core of what every educator does. Educators at every level often spend countless hours focusing on students that are far below grade level or ability. We work effortlessly to help them be successful, sometimes with success while others not so successful.

Either way, as educators we need to continually help our students see that the path to success is not always linear. There are failures along the way, bumps that impede our process, and obstacles to overcome. However, along the way we LEARN that we can persevere and make improvements on things we have already tried. Like the old saying goes, 'No Pain - No Gain". We must be willing to put in the hard work to help all of our students be successful, encouraging them along the way. Help them to see that they are capable of anything they want to put their minds to.

Ironically, Dr. Haas' presentation really charged educators with having a growth mindset themselves. How easy would it be to continue doing what you've been doing because 'that's way I've always done it'? We must be willing to admit that we do not know what we do not know. The only way to grow is to learn - learn how we can become better educators, creating a place for all students to learn and grow WITH us, not from us!

Do you have a growth mindset?

My sketch notes from HLC Conference 2016.


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