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Lesson 2: A whole-school approach

I have had the great pleasure of working with many schools that have seen the Habits of Mind flourish in their communities over many years. Not only have these schools embedded the Habits of Mind, they have sustained them. Unfortunately, not all schools have sustained their work. For many, the Habits of Mind have become […]

Lesson 1: A Growth Mindset

Last week, I listed the three key lessons I’ve learnt about successfully working with Habits of Mind. This week, I want to delve into the first of these lessons. It’s a critical component, shared by all schools that have achieved long-term success with Habits of Mind. It is a Growth Mindset. A Growth Mindset has […]

20 years with Habits of Mind: 3 Important Lessons

As Art Costa, Bena Kallick and the Institute for Habits of Mind celebrate their 25th year, I celebrate my 20th year working with the Habits of Mind. I can’t begin to adequately describe the phenomenal impact the Habits of Mind have had on my life, both professionally and personally. From my work as a classroom […]

Experience vs Expertise

Should the people who’ve been in the job the longest be paid the most money? This is the way many businesses work. Employers pay their staff an annual increment based on their years of employment, even if the role hasn’t changed. Experience, so the saying goes, counts. So, the longer you do the job, the […]

It’s not as simple as “Praise Effort”

Praise is a powerful thing. It has the potential to motivate, guide and support a student’s learning. But it can also derail it. When our praise is focused on outcomes and abilities (“You’re so clever!”, “You’re a real natural at this!”), it contributes to the development of a Fixed Mindset. Students with a Fixed Mindset […]

Fixed vs Growth: Two ends of a Mindset continuum

One of the biggest social media myths about Mindsets is that there are only two: the Fixed Mindset and the Growth Mindset. This is simply not true. The reality is that our Mindset lies somewhere along the Mindset Continuum. This confusion has led to many  misapplications of psychologist Carol Dweck’s work. While Dweck herself typically […]

Getting “Praise Mistakes” right!

In the past, making a mistake was something to be avoided at all costs. How many times were you too afraid to put your hand up at school in case you had the wrong answer? And you certainly didn’t celebrate when you saw red crosses on your page. Sometimes, mistakes really do need to be […]

Belief is Not Enough

A Growth Mindset is critical to growth and success. Without the belief that we can change ourselves for the better, our motivation flounders. It’s at the heart of a Growth Mindset, which world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck describes as “the belief that you can change your most basic characteristics, such as your talents, abilities […]

Beyond “Not Yet” to “What’s Next?”

A quick survey of social media suggests that a key element of nurturing a Growth Mindset is the word “yet”. In her renowned TED talk, “The Power of Yet”, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck espouses the virtue of “yet”, describing a school with a grading system that includes a category for “not yet” instead of […]

Not all Effort is Created Equal

I am increasingly of the belief that we should ban the word “effort” from the classroom. Praising effort has become all the rage in education—all in the name of Growth Mindsets. The argument goes something like this: If we praise students for their ability or achievements we detract from the importance of their efforts. So […]