Learning new things can be challenging for both adults and children, but if you’re searching for a fresh approach to motivating your pupils to overcome problems, have you thought about including growth mindset techniques in your toolkit as a teacher? Many teachers have found that this teaching method of helping students to continue working despite setbacks is a huge success. It can be just as effective in your classroom.
Stop grading each and every assignment: We want our students to learn as much as possible from each assignment, so low-stakes assignments in the early part of a lesson are designed to help them learn. This makes them more prepared to handle setbacks, which will ultimately help them learn more.
Encourage students to respect differences: This gives your students a chance to consider how their minds work and provides an understanding that we all work a little differently — and that’s not just OK, it’s something to value. This fun growth mindset activity was inspired by scientist Stephen Hawking. After reading about Hawking, students create a self-portrait inspired by the limitless nature of the human mind.
Teach Students Growth Vocabulary: Terms like “I can’t” and “I don’t know how” are readily known by most students. But “not yet” and “I’ll try” are squishier concepts and terms that are incredibly powerful. So make it a habit of adding “yet” when a student says they can’t do something — “You can’t answer that problem, yet.”
Be Careful With Your Own Language: Role model growth mindset language as much as possible. For example, when students complain that they’re struggling with a particular concept, remind them that that’s OK because each new problem they encounter is helping them develop those learning muscles.
Provide Challenges: One of the best ways for students to develop a growth mindset is being challenged and seeing that it’s OK to take risks and OK to fail … and that you can dust yourself off and try again! Encourage your students to see each challenge as a step on the learning path.