One thing that parents and educators can agree on is that they want the best for children. They want them to learn skills that will serve them well in the future. When we focus on motivation and cajole, threaten or even bribe kids to learn and behave we may think that we helping them but in reality we are setting a precedent that will be hard to change as adults. We have to take a hard look at not only what best serves kids but also what we model for ourselves.
In an effort to create optimum learning for children, many times we have created a false growth mindset. There are two main culprits:
- Praising effort alone without regard to the result–this means saying “you really worked hard on that” without giving suggestions for improvement. The end result is a child who does not know what they are striving for as a finished product.
- Teaching ‘you can do anything” without teaching the effort involved: Perhaps in the past, we were too discouraging of a child’s efforts but now instead we have created a generation who not only believe they can do and be anything, they expect it to happen with little effort.
Sometimes we apply techniques to children without spending time evaluating what is most effective for us. What do you do when you are learning something new? How do you handle problems and challenging situations? Once you spend some time observing your own strategies for learning you will be better equipped to help your students learn effectively.
How do you create a growth mindset?
Here are some suggestions:
- Help children understand how to set a realistic goal by checking out where they are now and where they want to be in a designated period of time.
- Teach children to evaluate progress, not by how close they are to the goal but instead by how far they have come from the starting point.
- Provide positive and encouraging feedback that takes into account not only progress made but the effort involved. Point out ways they can improve and overcome challenges.
- Finally, teach children how to encourage themselves with positive self-talk.
While supplies last… end of school year special!
Four of my best selling books:
Wyatt Learns about Cooperation, Wyatt Learns about Good Manners, Wyatt Learns about Winning and Wyatt Learns about Being Organized.