Tuning In

This year’s grade three unit – primarily focused on the transformation of electrical energy and magnetic forces – is off and running. I’ve been thinking about how to fine tune the provocation and tuning in phases, and while some small changes have made a difference in learner engagement, the biggest change has come from the attitudes of the teachers involved. This is the second year for this unit, and comfort levels have risen. It’s got me wondering about the confidence and comfort levels of all the learners in the makerspace – teachers and students – and how that affects understanding. We often talk about growth mindset at our school. But what preconditions are necessary for learners to feel comfortable enough with uncertainty and ‘not yet understanding’ for them to be able to jump into an engagement?
Here’s what Carol Dweck has to say about it:
How can we help educators adopt a deeper, true growth mindset, one that will show in their classroom practices? You may be surprised by my answer: Let’s legitimize the fixed mindset. Let’s acknowledge that (1) we’re all a mixture of fixed and growth mindsets, (2) we will probably always be, and (3) if we want to move closer to a growth mindset in our thoughts and practices, we need to stay in touch with our fixed-mindset thoughts and deeds.
What about differentiation? While this practice is well established for classrooms, how could we use this idea for a group of teachers? How does altering the learning engagements for a fixed mindset teacher affect the learners under their care, assuming those learners are a mixture of fixed and growth mindsets? I see no easy answer, but I know what type of teacher I want for my child. How do we begin to move more teachers into a true growth mindset?

Dweck, C. (2017). Carol Dweck Revisits the ‘Growth Mindset’. [online] Education Week. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/09/23/carol-dweck-revisits-the-growth-mindset.html [Accessed 18 Aug. 2017].

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