Over winter break, I began a revolution in my teaching. After losing a dear friend and colleague, my motivation and interest to grow as a teacher and learner was severely tested. I needed something motivating.
Toward the end of last semester, I was encouraged to take a look at the research and writings of Carol Dweck and Joan Boaler in regards to the Growth Mindset. I was skeptical at the outset, not just because my spirit was fading, but also because of who the individuals were that had encouraged me to explore (another story for another time). But, the first synopsis of an article I read was intriguing, and I began to read more. I soon found the Mindset Kit. After exploring this website and the materials provided, I somehow found myself at the YouCubed.org website, exploring Growth Mindset articles, information and activities for mathematics teaching and learning. Then, I discovered Joan Boaler’s new book, Mathematical Midsets. I downloaded the book for my iPhone Kindle App and proceeded to read it nearly nonstop from cover to cover.
I felt like a kid again, I was bubbling with ideas for my math and technology classes on how to promote and lead my future teacher-students toward a growth mindset philosophy. I began listing activity ideas from the research I had reviewed. I began to revise my courses based on the growth mindset concepts of which I was excited.
As I researched, planned, and revised, my revolution became a revelation.
I soon discovered that nearly all of the activities that I already used in my math classes were promoting a growth mindset. Most of my notes and activities were aimed at teaching for understanding, demanding exploration, enjoying mistakes, expecting children to build their own math knowledge, and promoting positive attitudes toward mathematics.
So, this semester, I have begun a revolution in my teaching. I am clearly and succinctly leading my future teacher-students down a growth mindset path. But the path is not unfamiliar, the revelation is that I have been doing this my entire career. Now, I have research and knowledge to back up what I’ve been practicing. More importantly, my Revolution Revelation has been Revitalizing.
If you have not yet explored current brain research, mindset articles, or growth mindset activities, you are on the outside of the revolution.