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Why you should instill a growth mindset in your students?

The only thing that is permanent is change and lately, we have been witnessing a whole lot of it in every sphere. The field of education is no exception. Our methods of teaching and learning have undergone a tremendous change in recent years. Especially since the coronavirus pandemic, when schools and college campuses were shut down, locking millions of students and teachers across the entire nation, out of the classroom, traditional offline teaching has been readily replaced with online teaching and live classes. These changes in pedagogy have brought about a significant improvement in student engagement and student learning outcomes. In fact, some of the best online education app provide features such as digital whiteboards, online teaching through mobile, automated attendance, and likewise which largely simplify teaching.

Growth Mindset in your Students

As fruitful as the results of changing our methods of teaching have been, changing students’ mindset to a positive one, is equally important if not more. Changing the way students think can completely change their learning pattern. It is due to this that adopting a growth mindset is one of the most critical aspects of learning. The debate between a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset has been on for decades. When we talk about intelligence, scientists do believe that there is a strong hereditary component of intelligence. There have been researches where identical twins who were separated at the time of birth and grew up in wildly different environments, had different life experiences, still performed similarly on IQ tests. However, the plasticity of human brain, which essentially means that our brain changes its structure and new connections between neurons are formed with every life experience we have. So, our brain has a tremendous ability to change its structure. Thus, even though intelligence has a genetic component, it is also well known that we can change the very structure of our brain by learning new things and subjecting ourselves to different experiences.

So, should teachers encourage their students to adapt a growth mindset towards learning, which means students are taught that they can develop talent and enhance their mental capacity through persistent efforts, practice and hard work, or is a fixed mindset more beneficial for enhancing the students learning outcome? We all fail at something. When students are engaged in learning new things, it means they will fail repeatedly, no matter how good they are. However, here’s the catch, if the students believe that they can grow and improve with effort, and failures are just the stepping stones to their success, it will lead them to continue to put in effort and give their best at conquering the difficulties they face. However, if your students believe that their skills and intelligence are fixed and no matter how much they push themselves, they won’t be able to affect them, it will lead them to lose interest in studying and trying harder to be better at things once they fail. In other words, they will give up on smallest of obstacles which can seriously hamper their academic achievement and by extension, your success in being an effective teacher.

There are a lot of biases in our society. For instance, the bias that girls can’t be good at STEM subjects or that boys can’t be good at language-based subjects. Getting your students to adopt a growth mindset can help them in overcoming these biases and truly believe that they achieve anything they set their minds to, as long as they are willing to give their best. Quite similarly, a student who comes from an impecunious background can be better helped in overcoming his difficulties and achieve success, by persuading him to adopt a growth mindset. A growth mindset can be particularly helpful in teaching children with special needs and help in improving their confidence and making their outlook on life a more positive one. It is for these reasons that many educators and parents today, are readily working towards inculcating a growth mindset in the students.

Therefore, it is evident that a growth mindset is instrumental for the students in achieving success in their classroom and it is in their best interest to be taught in an environment which promotes a growth mindset and optimism in them as opposed to a pessimistic view of a fixed mindset. Thus, a growth mindset is a surefire way of enhancing the student learning outcome.

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