Do you have disengaged, passive learners in your classroom? Students who do the bare minimum or give up easily? Do you have days that leave you exhausted, feeling like you’re doing most of the hard work for your students, dragging them through the learning process?
The Learning Landscape will not only engage learners, but it will also give you your time and energy back as students begin to take charge of their learning!
Bring learning to life
The Learning Landscape brings learning to life in your classroom. It helps students understand their role as active, skilful participants in the learning process.
It gives you a language of movement and exploration that engages students in their learning.
More importantly, it is a way for students to visualise learning like never before.
Every lesson will be a new adventure. As students navigate their way through the Learning Landscape, they discover and explore new knowledge and insights. To gain more complex and difficult...
Have you ever been the victim of a personality test?
You know the type of test I’m talking about. Someone at your school gives you a survey asking you a bunch of questions. Then you get a nice, coloured chart that describes your strengths and tells you what type of role you’re suited to.
These tests certainly have their place. But if they are not used appropriately, they can contribute to a Fixed Mindset culture in your school.
“You see, the way a school frames personality tests can contribute to either a Fixed Mindset culture of “being” or a Growth Mindset culture of “becoming.”
Too often, personality tests are interpreted as a permanent reflection of who we are. They are used to categorise us as being a certain type of person who is suited to or cut out for a limited number of roles. This implies we are not a fit for other roles because we aren’t the right “type”.
Let’s take a moment to explore the...
Last week, we explored three “below the bar” mistakes that contribute little to the learning process. This week, we look at three “above the bar” mistakes that provide useful information and contribute positively to the learning process. These are the mistakes we should encourage and celebrate in our classrooms.
Sometimes, mistakes happen, and we suddenly have insights we never expected. Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin is an example of an Aha Moment Mistake. Fleming wasn’t looking for penicillin. The mould that grew on the agar dish he was using to grow bacteria was a mistake. But when he noticed the mould...
Turia Pitt is an Agile Learner. She has a Growth Mindset and knows how to take on challenges and overcome adversity.
Completing a double bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Mining) and Science at the University of New South Wales in 2010, Turia went on to successfully apply her learning as a mining engineer at a prestigious diamond mining company in Western Australia.
Not content with only pursuing academic and career goals, Turia excelled in many other areas of her life. She was a contestant in the Miss Earth Australia contest, a professional model, and a successful ultramarathon runner.
Tragically, on 2nd September 2011, while competing in a 100km ultramarathon in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, Turia was caught in a grass fire. She suffered burns to 65% of her body, including her face. Turia was placed in a medically-induced coma for six months, underwent more than 200 operations, had her left foot amputated, and lost all the fingers on her left hand and two on her...
In education, and the community more broadly, there is a movement towards normalising mistakes. “It’s OK to make a mistake” has become the mantra. “Mistakes help me learn” is repeated in classrooms around the world. And, in some instances, mistakes have been encouraged and even rewarded.
But the problem is that not all mistakes are the same. Some mistakes contribute to the learning process, while others detract from it. There is a difference between mistakes that make you say, “Oh!”, and the ones that make you say, “Oh no!”
Over the next two weeks, I will introduce you to six different types of mistakes. We will explore mistakes that make you say, “Huh?”, mistakes that make you go, “Doh!”, mistakes that make you think, “Hmmm …” and more. We’ll develop a language of mistakes you can share with your students to help them understand the role of mistakes in learning and become better...
I’m fortunate to work with many teachers around the world. Not only do I get to share my work with them; I get to learn about the goals they see as most important to their school.
Developing resilience is one of the most common goals I hear about. In fact, it is often the reason why teachers are drawn to my work with Growth Mindsets and Learning Agility.
But recently, I’ve been questioning resilience. By making “resilience” our goal, do we set the bar too low? Could we do better?
Let’s take a look at what resilience is and why schools are so interested in it.
What is resilience?
Dictionary.com defines resilience as: “The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. The power or ability to return to original form.”
Toni Noble and Helen McGrath, authors of Bounce Back!, discuss resilience in terms of the “ability to cope or ‘bounce back’ after encountering negative events, difficult situations,...
There’s a lot of hype around mistakes. If social media is to be believed teachers should be praising, even celebrating mistakes. And we should be encouraging students to make mistakes.
I believe that teachers are making a mistake when they praise student’s for making mistakes.
Social Media and Mistakes
Social media oversimplifies the role of mistakes. For example, “Every mistake we make is progress” is simply not true. Often a mistake is unintended and unwanted and does not represent progress at all – in fact it might represent a setback.
It’s not the mistake that’s important. Progress, growth and learning comes from how we respond to the mistake, the information we are able to extract from it, and the strategies we use that ultimately correct it.
In other words, it’s the student’s actions, not the mistake, that are important. And it’s those actions that we should be praising.
Agile Learners thrive in the most challenging and unpredictable environments.
Whether it’s increasing the bottom line in business, responding to disruptions in the workplace, achieving academic success in schools, improving parenting skills or triumphing in any other challenging task, the Agile Learner achieves more.
Why? Because the Agile Learner recognises that they can develop their most basic abilities. They know they can increase their talents and intelligence, and they understand that becoming comes before being. In other words, they have a Growth Mindset.
"More importantly, the Agile Learner understands how to translate their Growth Mindset into actual growth. They recognise that a Growth Mindset is simply an invitation to grow. To achieve growth, they develop their Habits of Mind, constantly step outside their comfort zone, challenge themselves to raise their standards and do more difficult things. They engage in what I refer to as Virtuous Practice."
There is a fable about Spanish artist Pablo Picasso that illustrates an important principle underpinning the Growth Mindset - the importance of building a backstory of growth.
Picasso was sitting on a park bench in Central Park, New York, when a young woman came up to him and asked, “Could you draw a sketch for me, please?”
Picasso got out his sketchpad and pencil and quickly sketched a portrait of the young woman.
She beamed as he handed her the sketch. “Oh, it’s so lovely!” she exclaimed.
Before the young woman turned to leave, Picasso said, “That will be one million dollars, please.”
“A million dollars!” she said in surprise. “But it only took you two minutes.”
“Ah,” said Picasso. “I think you’ve misunderstood. You see, that sketch didn’t take me two minutes. That sketch took me a lifetime.”
This fable highlights the true value of expertise: the backstory.
"While we often place...
In her landmark book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck introduced the concept of Fixed and Growth Mindsets to the world. She highlighted the influence our Mindset has over our behaviour, and she gave dozens of examples of how students' Fixed or Growth Mindset impacted their learning.
But we must remember that Dweck was introducing her ideas. She gave examples designed to highlight the importance of Mindsets, and she made us sit up and take notice. But Mindsets don’t end with fixed and growth – there’s so much more depth and complexity behind Dweck’s ideas.
“In the real world, there aren’t two types of people. We don’t live in a world where some people have a Fixed Mindset, and others have a Growth Mindset.”
In reality, our differences are much more subtle and complex. Our Mindset doesn’t fall into one of two categories; rather, it falls along a continuum between the extremes of fixed...