Prove Them Wrong [VIDEO 3:46]

“The most powerful motivation speeches that I have ever heard came from people who told me I couldn’t do something…” Forget fear. Forget failure. This powerful motivational video from Absolute Motivation combines On the Shortness of Life quotes by Seneca, James Alan’s As A Man Thinketh, narration by Les Brown and Tony Robbins and music by Luke Howard and Overwerk, to capture the essence of growth mindset. A must-see for educators recharging and rejuvenating this summer!


Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets In Children [VIDEO 0:56]

Consider this animated example of fixed versus growth mindset in a math classroom, created by GoStrengths. How can you nurture student willingness to take chances and learn from the outcomes in your classroom?


1905: Einstein’s Miracle Year [VIDEO 5:16]

As the year 1905 began, Albert Einstein faced life as a “failed” academic. Yet within the next twelve months, he would publish four extraordinary papers, each on a different topic, that were destined to radically transform our understanding of the universe. In this Ted-Ed talk, Larry Lagerstrom details these four groundbreaking papers, making the case for how grit, resilience and a growth mindset can not only change one’s personal destiny, but indeed the destiny of civilization!

Does Teaching Kids To Get “Gritty” Help Them Get Ahead?


Reposted from npr Ed:

Tom Hoerr leads the New City School, a private elementary school in St. Louis that has also been working on grit. “One of the sayings that you hear around here a great deal is, ‘If our kids have graduated from here with nothing but success, then we have failed them, because they haven’t learned how to respond to frustration and failure.’ ”

After years of focusing on the theory known as “multiple intelligences” and trying to teach kids in their own style, Hoerr says he’s now pulling kids out of their comfort zones intentionally. “The message is that life isn’t always easy,” Hoerr says. His goal is to make sure “that no matter how talented [students are], they hit the wall, so they can learn to pick themselves up, hit the wall again and pick themselves up again, and ultimately persevere and succeed.”It is a major adjustment for everyone — perhaps most of all for parents. “It’s really easy to talk about in the abstract,” Hoerr says. “Parents love the notion of grit; they all want their kids to have it. However … no parent wants their kid to cry.”

The focus is always more on putting out effort than on getting the right answers. Teachers have been trained to change the way they see students, and how they speak to them. Kids no longer hear “You’re so smart!” or “Brilliant!” Rather, teachers praise students for their focus and determination. “You must have worked really hard!” or “To have performed this well, you must have put out a lot of effort.” The adjustment isn’t always easy for teachers trained to focus on hitting high scores on standardized tests. “It’s really hard in certain subject areas to say that your process is more important than your product,” says science teacher Nicole Trubnikov. “But that is the underlying principle of this program — to say that it’s all the effort that you put in that’s most important.”

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How To Think About Your Growth Mindset [VIDEO 2:32]

This quick animated video provides a friendly frame of reference for how to develop growth mindset self-awareness and how to develop habits that will develop and sustain a growth mindset approach to learning. Most importantly, the link is made from how we perceive ourselves and how we foster our own success in life. A great video for a teachers and students becoming acclimated to this new approach to developing a generative self-concept.


Growth Mindset at Greenshaw High School [VIDEO 2:31]

Greenshaw High School in Sutton, Surrey, UK, bills itself as a “forward looking school without limits.” In this short animated overview, the school explains how its orientation to an academic growth mindset permeates everything it does. How does this match with your concept of growth mindset implementation in a total school program? How would YOU embed a growth mindset culture into the education environment?

Academic Mindsets: The Placebo Phenomenon

placebo growth

Reposted from MindShift:

In medicine, the placebo effect is well known, but still mysterious. Through some unknown connection between mind and body, placebos produce changes in brain states, immune systems, blood pressure and hormone levels. Although most of us think of a placebo as a sugar pill, in fact it’s any intervention in which beliefs produce measurable changes in physiology, and thus performance. Here’s a typical example: When adults enter a flight simulator and take on the role of Air Force pilots flying a plane, their eyesight improves 40 percent more than adults who just “pretend” to fly a plane in a broken simulator. Something in the belief system shifts the body.

Results from research into the growth mindset tell us that placebos have finally hit the classroom. When students are informed that it’s possible to improve their IQ, they respond by improving their IQ. A simple message of possibility opens the door to an improvement in brain function. When distance-learning students in west Texas used an avatar from Second Life to attend virtual meetings, their new personas gave them permission to change their behavior. They turned into noticeably different and more attentive students than in person.

What’s the takeaway from the placebo phenomenon? More than anything, the results tell us that beliefs matter, perhaps much more than we realize. In many cases, the chief message of placebo research is that focusing on using the mind and beliefs to power up the brain and body is the key to better learning in the future. This approach requires that we take more seriously the latest research showing that intentional, placebo-like interventions also work.

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The Power of Yet [VIDEO 10:25]

Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? A great introduction to this influential field.


Why Do Students Choose to Engage and Persist? [VIDEO 3:01]

Presented by the Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS) at Stanford University, this quick video makes the case for research-based student resources and teacher professional development that help to mold and sustain successful academic growth mindsets. Learn more about this important work, which is free to educators, at the PERTS website.

What the Growth Mindset Is, and What It Isn’t

einstein problems longer

Reposted from the Disappointed Idealist:

Carol Dweck’s broad theory is that students tend to fall into two camps : those who attribute their outcomes to external/ unchangeable factors such as intelligence or ability, and those who attribute their outcomes to internal, changeable factors, such as effort and perseverance. The latter group, she argues, then do rather better than the former when they come across challenges. This is not quite the same as the version of Dweck which is gaining traction rather quickly in the English education system, which is closer to the quote I took from Dylan Wiliam’s blog above : that the only determinant of outcomes is effort and perseverance.  Dweck can’t be blamed for that, and I can see how her theory could, in the hands of those of us who don’t have to meticulously footnote our tweets and policy statements, gradually metamorphose into the idea expressed above and in many other places.

At some point in the past, the not-irrational idea that it might be useful to try using different methods in lessons to get the message home, became the concept of “learning styles” which had to be shown in each lesson. In the last two years, the perfectly sensible idea that occasionally students might benefit from a little more in-depth consideration of their own work, has become a mountain of compulsory double-marking, endless DIRT and colour coded dots. The growth mindset is in danger of heading that way; I see too much wholehearted adoption of an oversimplified, and thus inaccurate, stance towards student achievement, based within the profession on a well-meaning desire to promote a positive, inspirational message of hope, but outside the profession supported by those advocating a self-serving philosophy which justifies inaction and victim-blaming.

My objection is to the way in which Dweck’s conclusions are rapidly metamorphosing into something completely different, and thus reinforcing the set of existing bonkers principles which are largely shaping education policy. Dweck’s well-meaning and perfectly reasonable research may well end up producing toxic outcomes if we don’t nip it in the bud.

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