When students believe that dedication and hard work can change their performance in school, they grow to become resilient, successful students. Inspired by the popular mindset idea that hard work and effort can lead to success, Mindsets in the Classroom provides educators with ideas for ways to build a growth mindset school culture, wherein students are challenged to change their thinking about their abilities and potential. The book includes a planning template, step-by-step description of a growth mindset culture, and “look-fors” for adopting a differentiated, responsive instruction model teachers can use immediately in their classrooms. It also highlights the importance of critical thinking and teaching students to learn from failure. The book includes a sample professional development plan and ideas for communicating the mindset concept to parents. With this book’s easy-to-follow advice, tasks, and strategies, teachers can grow a love of learning in their students.
Mary Cay Ricci is an education consultant and speaker. She was previously the Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Education for Baltimore County Public Schools. She holds certification in gifted and talented education and administration and supervision from Johns Hopkins University where she is currently a faculty associate in the Graduate School of Education.
Op de blog Byrdseed vind je een review van het boek Mindsets in the Classroom:
Prufrock Press sent me a copy of Mary Cay Ricci’s Mindsets In The Classroom. This book covers the fixed and growth mindsets from Carol Dweck’s research. Ricci’s book attacks the problem of the fixed mindset on all fronts, addressing the attitudes of students, but also of school staff and parents.
I’ve written about mindsets in an earlier article.
Mindsets In The Classroom features a nice mix of practical activities that promote growth thinking in students.
The included learning tasks speak directly to students about their brains. Students discover that the brain literally grows as it learns, reinforcing effort’s importance. These quick tasks open up fascinating discussions, and Ricci includes many student samples.
She also introduces several critical thinking tasks focused on including lower achieving students. Ricci worries that these students rarely get to practice high-end thinking skills, and can easily develop an “I’m not smart” mindset. I love how Ricci lets these students become the “experts” who then teach the rest of the class.
Ricci also addresses the mindsets of teachers since, in her own research, she found that 0% of students have the fixed mindset in kindergarten, but, by third grade, this has already grown to 42% of students. Our own schools, Ricci contends, contribute to students’ belief that their abilities are set in stone. She includes several practical ideas for exploring mindsets and brain research with school staff.
Ricci also digs deeply into differentiation and its connections to mindsets. Establishing quality preassessments, compacting curriculum, and developing appropriate tasks are all a part of supporting a growth mindset among students. In a responsive, differentiated classroom, each student should experience appropriate challenges and satisfying successes.
A Blend of Theory and Practice
Mindsets In The Classroom is filled with actionable ideas to improve school culture. It builds nicely on Dweck’s original book (which itself is surprisingly easy to read) by specifically addressing the three essential audiences: teachers, parents, and students. As a teacher who works with gifted students, you’ll find clear tasks to integrate into your classroom as well activities for staff meetings.
Mindsets in the Classroom
Building a Culture of Success and Students Achievement in Schools
Mary Cay Ricci
Prufrock Press Inc, Waco, Texas, © 2013