Cultivating a Growth Mindset in Your Students

This semester, I’ve been reading a lot about teaching with a growth mindset. I wrote about this topic at the end of last semester in a blog post called At the End, I’m Looking to the Start. Since that time, I have been studying Carol Dweck’s Mindset and Saundra Yancy McGuire’s Teach Students How to Learn. Dweck’s book provides a broad overview of the fixed and growth mindsets as they pertain to all aspects of life. Once you are sensitized to the difference, you can start working on making the monologue inside your head less judgmental and more constructive. McGuire’s book focuses on teaching college students, and it is exemplary because of its practical suggestions and positive, success-oriented stance.

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Two useful books: (left) Carol S. Dweck’s Mindset and (right) Saundra Yancy McGuire’s Teach Students How to Learn.

This week I presented some of what I’ve learned in an hour-long McGraw-Hill webinar, “I’m Just Not Good at Science”: Cultivating a Growth Mindset in Nonmajors Biology. The webinar was about recognizing the fixed vs. growth mindset, not only in what your students say about themselves, but also in what you say about your students. I also shared many suggestions from McGuire’s book, notably about how to help students recognize problems in their own studying and how to help them develop more effective behaviors. In the last part of the webinar, I showed some of what I do in my own class.

The clip below is a 6.5-minute excerpt from the second part of the webinar. It’s about what you can do after you return an exam, when many of your students first become painfully aware that something is wrong. You’ll notice references to the chat window, which you unfortunately cannot see in the video clip. The end of the clip references the “study cycle,” something you can learn a lot more about in McGuire’s book; you may also be interested in this excellent short video introduction from Louisiana State University.

Incidentally, if you’ve read McGuire’s book you already know that she does not care for the phrase “study skills.” She prefers “metacognitive learning strategies,” which McGuire finds grabs student interest. I am not sure I agree, so I’ve gone with the simpler phrase.

If you’d like a link to the full webinar, please add a comment below and I will arrange to have it sent to you.

 

 

 

 

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