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Challenge Pits – Which Zone Are You in Today?

True learning doesn’t happen without a challenge. We must stretch (not strain) ourselves to increase our standards and abilities. As Anders Ericson points out, if you never push yourself beyond your current best, you will never improve. When we challenge ourselves to achieve just beyond our current best, we go into what is sometimes referred […]

Becoming a Better Learner in the Learning Landscape

For many of us, learning is something we just do. It’s not something we learn to do well. Sure, we all understand that some people are better or faster at learning than others. But that’s often attributed (incorrectly) to “natural ability”. We think some people are just smarter than others. As teachers, our job is to […]

[Assessment] From Effort to Agency

  Most schools report on something we might loosely call effort. It’s a way of measuring a student’s contribution to the learning process. How schools do this varies greatly. But the intent is the same. We want students to engage in the type of behaviours that are likely to lead to greater growth and achievement. […]

From Effort to Agency

Effort – A student’s perspective As a student, I’d get a report card at the end of each semester that had two grades on it: one for achievement and one for effort. The achievement grade told me how much I’d learned and the standard I’d achieved. School was about learning, so the achievement grade represented […]

How to set teachers up to succeed with Growth Mindsets

(an extract from my book The Mindset Continuum: Your Key to Growth Mindset Interventions that work!) The vast majority of Growth Mindset interventions in the classroom don’t recognise the journey of becoming increasingly growth-oriented. The expectation is that after a Growth Mindset intervention, students will be cured of their Fixed Mindset and “have” a Growth Mindset. This […]

Has the tide turned on Growth Mindsets?

Most school-based Growth Mindset interventions don’t work! As schools struggle to find Growth Mindset interventions that work, a growing tide of criticism has forced psychologist Carol Dweck to defend her theories. A recent article in TES (“Carol Dweck: where growth mindset went wrong”) gives her response. I’ve been warning that the tide will turn on Growth […]

Four Pathways to a Fixed Mindset

There is a common assumption that someone with a Fixed Mindset is a low achiever, and someone with a Growth Mindset is a high achiever. This is simply not true. As I mentioned last week, in the first chapter of her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck gives many examples of very […]

Authentic V’s Learned Mindsets

How you get your Mindset makes all the difference!   Recently, I was re-reading the first chapter of Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, and something extraordinary struck me. In just the first chapter, she lists more than 20 examples of people with either a Fixed or Growth Mindset. Dweck describes Lee […]

Have you ever been the victim of a personality test?

You know the type of test I’m talking about. You’re asked a bunch of questions. Then you get a nice coloured chart that describes your character strengths. While these tests certainly have their place in schools, if they are not used appropriately, they can send Fixed Mindset messages to students. You see, the problem is […]

Making Mindsets Meaningful in Your School and Classroom

There are many different approaches to developing Growth Mindsets in schools. Some approaches are more successful than others. Over the next two weeks, I’m going to walk you through five different approaches to working with Growth Mindsets in schools. This week, we will look at the three most common approaches – your current Mindset, catchphrases […]