Symphony Learning loves the work of Carol Dweck and her Growth Mindset framework. We also recognize that integrating the ideas of growth mindset into your math classroom is a journey that requires support. We want to help. Each week you will receive a short email that suggests some ways to encourage a growth mindset in your students and your own teaching. You are the expert - consider us part of your support team as you grow your math classroom!
An important idea in growth mindset is recognizing that our brains are muscles. Like any muscle in our body, we grow and change our brain through exercising it in various ways: through experimenting, working with others, connecting ideas, and especially by making mistakes.
We've all heard this: "Some people are good at math, and some aren't. There's not much you can do about it." Luckily, science has shown us that this just isn't true! Every student can be good at math. Some students have earlier success with math, and get messages from others that lead them to continue to achieve. These students' brains continue to grow more and more as they embrace the struggle to learn.
For other students, math can be confusing, frustrating, and alienating. These students need mentors and a community that allows their brains to grow. They need the freedom to experiment, to make mistakes, to critique, to strategize, and to persevere as they learn to find the beauty in the world of mathematics.
What if you tried this?
Learning about Growth Mindset, and encouraging new ideas and behaviors in your math classroom, takes time. It may be helpful to start each week with a video that helps explain Growth Mindset to students. Here are a couple examples:
After you show one of the videos above to your students, ask them what they understand about learning math now. Are some people born better at math? Can everyone learn math? How can our class help each other become better at math?