On Monday, April 17, the Dike-New Hartford staff, along with educators from neighboring school districts and AEA 267, had the opportunity to learn about Growth Mindset from nationally renowned speaker Trevor Ragan. This blog will highlight a couple key points from the presentation.
Are you a Jungle Tiger or Zoo Tiger?
Mindset focuses on the beliefs and focus we have toward a specific situation. If we have a fixed mindset, we believe that our skills are set and we can’t grow or learn. We also have a fear of failure and want to make sure we “look good.” If we have a growth mindset, we believe that skills are developed, so we can grow and learn. We also focus on the opportunities to grow and improve.
Throughout the day Trevor Ragan compared mindset to tigers. We are either a jungle tiger (have growth mindset) or a zoo tiger (have fixed mindset). He provided examples of how easy life is for the zoo tiger, but because they never have to struggle, they never develop those survival skills needed for life in the wild. On the other hand, the jungle tiger has to struggle and face many challenges as he learns survival skills.
To learn more about being a jungle tiger, check out this video.
Is that your Lizard Brain?
We are all afraid. It is just part of our nature...our lizard brain tells us to beware of danger or challenge. We also all have something that we want to get better at. But we allow FEAR to keep us from taking on the challenge of becoming better. We fear failure and allow our lizard brain to stop us from moving forward. Instead we need to acknowledge the fear and take on the struggles that are going to help us grow. As teachers we need to acknowledge our students’ fears in order to help them move forward and grow.
Learning Like a Scientist
Scientists have big goals and a plan to get there, but most importantly they understand that the process is the most important part of meeting those goals. Scientists realize that they will have to conduct multiple experiments before they are going to reach the results they want. As educators, we also need to take this approach in helping our students learn. We need to focus on the process. As a result of focusing on the process, we will get the outcome that we want.
Growth Mindset Resources
If you would like to learn more about Growth Mindset, you may be interested in one the following books: Mindset by Carol Dweck, Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools by Mary Cay Ricci, or The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros. You can also check out Trevor Ragan’s website Train Ugly.