Growth mindset—the belief that your skills and intelligence are malleable and can be improved with hard work and practice—has been shown to be a vital aspect of learning. In this session, we will focus on developing a growth mindset for ourselves and for our students, and why both are important. It is often all too easy to think of ourselves as finished products with set skills, but this can hinder our attempts to be willing to learn new knowledge and skills. Fostering a “growth mindset” can motivate us- and our students- to focus on the process of learning, to embrace challenges as learning opportunities, and to improve our abilities through practice. Teaching students to have a growth mindset has been shown to prevent students from giving up in response to academic challenges and thereby can improve student performance and reduce achievement gaps between student groups. The goal of this session, designed for graduate students and teachers at any stage, is for participants to leave with some concrete strategies for when and how to help students focus on how to thrive- rather than just survive- in their college classes by considering themselves on a journey towards developing new skills and knowledge in which meaningful challenges are to be embraced rather than avoided.
This workshop is a part of Winter Teaching Week- a series of intensive workshops offered during J-Term in conjunction with January@GSASfor graduate student teachers at every stage, from just starting out to looking toward the job market.
Led by Lourdes Alemán, Associate Director for Teaching and Learning, MIT Teaching+Learning Lab
Marty Samuels, Associate Director for Science, Derek Bok Center