Stretch, a grow mind set


Stretch, a grow mind set

6 Oct ’12 Teaching 2

This morning I responded to @HuntingEnglish when he retweet a Guy Claxton comment.

Ability is not fixed, it is elastic, and your environment either stretches it or not. Guy Claxton

Like my colleague I believe in a growth mind set. In practice I try very hard to challenge some of our most difficult despondent students, to shift their self perceptions. I use whatever resources are available to me; inspiring Youtube videos (Will Smith), powerful Soundcloud speeches, data (BTW David Didau wrote a great post on this very data related topic and it took me a while to find it), quotes, challenging students who deflect compliments, or put their own achievements down to extraneous factors. And I not adverse to adopting the Millwall FC ‘no-one loves us and we don’t care,’ what ever helps bond the group. I rely heavily on routine and lavish praise where ever appropriate, or where ever I can; during the lesson, passing in the cooridor, on walk throughs.

‘Sir __________ was awesone today. Except nothing less from him in Maths today.’

If I am not reminding them, I am quizzing and proving to them, they are learning.

‘Yes you can come into lunch, but first name five PDs (persuasive devices).

As for this morning conversation, I shared with @HuntingEnglish that in my office I have two coloured elastic bands, of difficult length. I use these to ‘show’ students that intelligence is not fixed. That with hard work you can stretch your intelligence. Perhaps more importantly,

‘… that with real stretch u can achieve more, than more able [students] that don’t stretch themselves.

I use those bands at least once a term, and thought that @HuntingEnglish supportive response gave me sufficient reason to post here this evening.

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2 Responses

  1. Ann Litchfield (@Ann_Litchfield) says:

    Lovely – the kids become so responsive to praise and high expectations – love the idea of the elastic bands.

    • Kristian Still says:

      Praise, praise and more praise, followed by guerrilla praise and clear guidelines. Not easy with all groups.

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