Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Reflection 4 – How to promote a growth mindset in your students: A practical approach

In the last reflection I gave an example of how inclusion can be achieved through differentiated instruction, in this reflection I will give an example of how a teacher can guide the students so they can have a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset in various spheres of their life; this taking into account what we saw in class about mindsets. Having a growth mindset is paramount for a person throughout their life. This is why it’s very important that teachers become conscious of their role as guides of the students in this process; a teacher, through different activities, can show them the importance of the following: effort, strategy, process, resilience, perseverance, discipline, and improvement, and can teach them to know their own abilities and to develop them. I will show in this reflection a practical example where a teacher can help their students in this process while learning many other important things. The example is for the social studies class; however, it can be applied to other subjects. The first day of each week in which we have class, two students will together present a positive news which has to be related to what we saw the previous week (or to the topics of the subject if they don’t find the latter). They will present it to the rest of the classroom in a creative way. Subsequently, they will promote the participation of their classmates so they can give their opinions on the topic; for example through a debate, where it’s important that the following topics are discussed: how the news connects to the class, what makes the news positive, and its relevancy. The teacher will define with the students which are the characteristics of positive news. This activity will help them to: improve in their growth mindset process, see different positive role models that can inspire them, understand that in the world and in the country there are many positive things, learn to connect the subject with the current events, understand that the topics of the subject are meaningful and relevant to them in their daily lives, use prior knowledge to understand new information, and learn about the abilities we mentioned before and practice it in their own lives, among others. The assessment of this activity will also help them in this process, because they will need to connect to the emotions of their classmates and the teacher through the news they choose, in order to promote participation. A small activity can make the difference for our students.

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