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What’s the value of a mistake?

On its own, a mistake has no value. The value and learning potential come not from the mistake itself, but from the way we act on it. To achieve learning and extract value from a mistake, we must follow psychologist Anders Ericsson’s 3 Fs: • Focus: To recognise a learning opportunity. • Feedback: To understand […]

Mistakes and other Signposts for Learning

There’s a lot of talk these days about mistakes. We now know the important role mistakes have in learning. Rather than seeing mistakes as markers of limitations or inabilities, we see them as signposts for future learning. But with so much focus on mistakes, have we lost sight of other signposts? Mistakes are often easy […]

Understanding the Fixed and Growth Response: The First Step to Changing Mindsets

The Fixed Mindset has been getting a bad rap. We know how people with a Fixed Mindset tend to behave. They avoid challenges. They give up easily. They dislike effort. They are threatened by the success of others. These behaviours are sometimes described as “lazy”. It’s often assumed that people with a Fixed Mindset simply […]

Why are we still talking Fixed vs Growth Mindsets?

So much of what you read about Mindsets these days considers that there are only two opposing Mindsets. That is, the Fixed Mindset versus the Growth Mindset. Looking at Mindsets this way has helped us understand psychologist Carol Dweck’s work. It has also highlighted the importance of developing a Growth Mindset. However, an over-emphasis on […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 3: Development of the Habits of Mind

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve shared my most important insights into how to succeed with the Habits of Mind. This week, I want to get to the heart of what the Habits of Mind are all about: Learning to Behave more Intelligently. When Art Costa first described what would become known as the […]

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 […]