My philosophy for learning.
When I’m teaching, one of my fundamental beliefs is that every child can succeed if they are given support, challenge and carefully chosen educational nourishment. Carol Dweck, a psychologist working at the University of Stanford, developed a new way of interacting with students in 2006 which she named ‘Growth Mindset’. The main aim of this theory was to empower learners by convincing them that they could learn anything and retain it, if their attitude was positive.
It sounds like a very simple idea, but the key to its success was in the clear language used to get this message across. When I teach, I tell the children that they ‘worked extremely hard’ to solve the problem, rather than that they were ‘clever’. Persistent, enthusiastic and hard-working learners will improve more than children who assume their intelligence is fixed. I encourage my learners to take charge over their own success by making them believe they can do it in the first place.
Adopting the Growth Mindset
My experiences have taught me that no one theory or idea can develop a child on its own. The vast range of personal, environmental and societal factors within the life of a 21st Century child makes learning a difficult task. The demands of testing and developing peer relations only makes the job more onerous. Turn the tables and try to master a video game or new app which a child finds so easy. How long would it take before you start to feel frustrated? How long before you give up? As adults, we know that to get something right, we have to practise and persevere. Too often we assume that children understand this concept too.
Learning is a fascinating, lifelong skill. The earlier a child finds their most effective strategies to learn, the better the results will be. But this can only happen if the child believes they are capable of learning in the first place. Part of my job is to teach new knowledge, but another part is to give children the confidence to become independent learners so that my role becomes that of the facilitator, instead of teacher.
Niall Hope- Capra TeacherDate Posted: 25 November 2015