Habits of Mind

Mindset and the Learning Landscape

The Learning Landscape provides a way to recognise and develop a learner’s Mindset. In many ways, a learner’s Mindset is a reflection of how well they understand the Learning Landscape and their capacity to move through it. A learner with a Growth Mindset understands they are free to roam the Learning Landscape, exploring the furthest […]

Getting Out of the Challenge Pit!

Setting challenging tasks is not enough to ensure real learning. In the Learning Landscape, Pits represent challenges. But getting out of a Pit represents learning! Learning is an active, skilful process. In the Learning Landscape, the learners who reach the highest standards and ascend the mountains of expertise are the best climbers. They draw on […]

Challenge Pits: Four Different Types

The Learning Landscape makes learning more enjoyable. The sense of being on a learning journey – exploring the Learning Landscape, taking on Challenge Pits and climbing mountains of expertise – is engaging for learners.But the Learning Landscape is so much more than a tool to engage students. It is a metaphor for the learning process. It helps students understand how their […]

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 […]

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 […]

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!

One of the most important lessons I learnt as an aspiring school leader was “just because you can doesn’t mean you should!” Like a lot of teachers, I found my first few years of teaching very challenging. The “bar” seemed to be set incredibly high, and I had to work hard to learn my craft. […]

Turia Pitt: A Growth Mindset in Action

Turia Pitt knows how to take on challenges and overcome adversity. Completing a double Bachelors degree in Engineering (Mining) and Science at the University of New South Wales in 2010, Turia went on to successfully apply her learning as a mining engineer at a prestigious diamond mining company in Western Australia. Not content with only […]

Teaching students to create and use feedback

Over the past few weeks, we have been exploring the Five Elements of Effort. We began by noting that although we are interested in student “effort”, we often lack a coherent definition of what we mean by “effort”. “Effort” is often associated simply with the amount of time and energy a student expends on a […]

Why students need to get better at making mistakes

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve written about how real growth only happens when we stretch ourselves beyond our current best. We grow when we seek to raise the bar by working in our Learning Zone. This stretch requires us to develop our Habits of Mind to become better learners. The challenge with working […]