Our SMART Goal: By June 2015, ___%* of the learners (inclusive of all adults and students) in SGDSB will demonstrate growth in their efficacy towards learning as measured by surveys and exit cards**.
*yet to be determined **(summarized for this post)
As a district, we are working hard at figuring out how to move the adults and the students (all of whom are learners!) towards adopting a growth mindset. It seems that we have a pretty good understanding of what a growth mindset is (theoretically). We know that having a growth mindset is at the core of achieving our Learner Centered Environment, and we know that our Conditions for Learning are part of the HOW of achieving that learning mindset. The Assessment for Learning Strategies and Key Components (from Black and Wiliam, 1998) are the teaching and learning strategies that the Conditions for Learning are in service to. Thus, while this work is complex, growth in any area will likely impact the others. Have a look at a this draft visual representation of our Board Learning Plan work.
The following article also supports these connections:
Our SMART goal (above) is the result of the realization of our Conditions for Learning within an Assessment for Learning Culture in every learning environment – classroom, school, PLC, etc, in our district. Anyone who is teaching anything to anyone needs to embed our Conditions for Learning and the Assessment for Learning strategies and 5 Key elements – it is only this way that we will begin to see if our theory of action (below) is true.
If we foster learner centered environments and pedagogy, then learners will possess an increased sense of belonging and be motivated to learn.
While this level of understanding is essential, we need to dig deeply into how we create this growth mindset in every learner -in both the adults (think about your own mindset as a leader) and the students – as we strive to create and foster the learner centered culture in our district. We know that there is need to fully understand our own mindsets, as learners. To do this, we need to engage in our own personal self-reflections against indicators of a growth mindset. For our student learners, there is a need to explicitly teach what it means to have a growth mindset, and to foster this type of thinking in our schools. This is the practical work…and it is only the practical work that will lead us to full integration into who we are as learners. We need to practice and model having a growth mindset in order to fully realize the impact and the potential of this way of being. As Will Smith says, “you have to believe it”! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkziAM_ZyDM )
Below are links to a couple of excellent resources that will help us (I was planning to write about the how, but honestly, these two documents capture the first steps nicely! )
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/classroom_qa_with_larry_ferlazzo/2012/10/response_classroom_strategies_to_foster_a_growth_mindset.html (be sure to access some of the resources included in this blog as they lead you to tools that can be used in your work!)
http://whatkidscando.org/resources/pdf/Growth%20Mindset%20Activites%20&%20Assignments.PDF Below are links to the videos that are mentioned in this document…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkziAM_ZyDM Will Smith…awesome!!!
http://www.whatkidscando.org/featurestories/2012/12_just_listen/ (a series of videos from kids!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhxcFGuKOys why you need to fail…another awesome video especially for our junior, intermediate and senior students!
We are well on our way to creating a school district that is learner centered. There is a strong awareness of the need to foster this environment. Our work this year is to move the theoretical into the practical; to embed our understanding of the learner centered environment into our daily practice – to make it automatic…or a way of being.
Thoughts? Does the connection between the work make sense? Until next week…