Education K12

For Students, Growth Mindset Goes Beyond Cheerleading

Panorama Deep Dives Growth Mindset In The Classroom

phanorama-sel-story-top For Students, Growth Mindset Goes Beyond Cheerleading

With students spending between 6.5 and 8 hours a day in school, 180 days a year for 13 years of their lives it’s not surprising that teachers have a profound impact on a student’s growth mindset. There’s been a lot of talk lately about social-emotional development and the role it plays in the classroom, the school and the district.

For years there’s been an emphasis on academic achievement in the US. It started with “No Child Left Behind” in 2002, which the Obama administration re-worked and unveiled “Every Student Succeeds Act” in 2015. While the latter looks great on paper it still holds a strong emphasis on academic achievement, and insuring that students, regardless of socio-economic status and demographic have the same opportunities for success that every other student has.

Neither really considered the impact of social emotional learning, which research has proven, contributes to academic success. When you strip away all the flowers and rose pedals many choose to dress it up with, that’s a fairly easy concept to understand. Student goes through life thinking that they aren’t smart enough or they’re being told they can’t do something, than regardless of skill level, they probably can’t. Or at least they think they can’t.

Integrating a strong social emotional learning program in a classroom, school or district will naturally help every student succeed. But for it to work, there needs to be a clear understanding of where students and teachers stand and the best methodologies for teachers to affect change, socially and emotionally, with their students.

Earlier this week, Panorama’s Marketing Director, Jack McDermott, penned this blog post “What If Students Have More Growth Mindset Than Their Teachers”.

Panorama just released information from a survey they took of 68 partner schools in the 2016-2017 school year. They asked teachers a series of questions about how possible it is for their students to change various qualities about themselves.

• How possible is it for your students to change their intelligence?
• How possible is it for your students to change how well they behave in class?

They then went on to compare the teachers’ results with the results from the same survey questions asked to students. The results, were positive, and a bit surprising.

panorama-survey-top For Students, Growth Mindset Goes Beyond Cheerleading

“First we found that teachers tended to view their students’ qualities as being easier to change than students themselves do. On average, teachers responded 14 percentage points higher on questions about growth mindset than students. While both groups viewed behavior and effort as the easiest for students to change in school, they disagreed sharply on how much students could change how easily they give up (perseverance) and their interest in school subjects.

The only quality that students rated as being easier to change was their intelligence. In 91 percent of the schools we studied, students rated their intelligence as more malleable than their teachers did.” McDermott wrote.

One of the things we found most interesting in McDermott’s post was some narrative provided by Kimberly Wynne, Assistant Superintendent in Farmington Public Schools in Connecticut. She said “Attitude alone will not change outcomes. Even teachers who encourage students to try harder may end up being reinforced in their beliefs that intelligence is fixed. We have found that the real key to changing a student’s mindset is to couple beliefs with strategies.”

She went onto explain that teachers who say “not yet” when a student is struggling rather than being a cheer leader and saying “you can do it” are more effective. It starts with teachers believing their students can succeed.

Head over to Panorama’s blog to read McDermott’s entire post, and download the research from them.