Mindshift published a fascinating article. In this article it connects mindset and Math. Many kids and adults are afraid of Math. It has been ingrained in them that Math is hard and only a Math person can be successful with Math. I must admit, while in primary and secondary school, I experienced these same fears. Reading and writing always seemed to be easier. My first spark for a passion of Math did not occur until I took Statistics in College. Yes, STATISTICS! This was probably one of my favorite courses. So what made the difference? The professor was amazing and inspired the class from onset. He gave clear instructions, gave us tons of practice, and his general positive mindset that we will be successful transpired to the class. I earned an A in this class because he shifted my mindset of what was possible in Math. I did not have to be a Math Wiz, I just needed to stay focused, drive myself, and open my mind to learn. I had to let that fear go. This culture he created was felt widespread, he was the most recommended Stats teacher.
When I began my teaching career, I fell completely in love with Math and Science. I remembered the environment for learning that professor created and wanted to create that same feeling for my learners. This article epitomizes how to do just that. Schwartz summarized a key concept of how learners can feel intimidated in their environment and the detrimental effects that can have.
….if a classroom climate is one of fixed ability, it will override a student’s own beliefs about his brain plasticity. This effect was even more pronounced when stereotype threat was present. Students were less likely to feel belonging and were less likely to engage with content. That, in turn, led to lower achievement and lower grades.
-Katrina Schwartz, 2016
Schwartz lists several ways to create the growth mindset in the classroom. Check out the article here:
Schwartz, K. (2016, December 06). How to Integrate Growth Mindset Messages Into Every Part of Math Class. Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/46905/how-to-integrate-growth-mindset-messages-into-every-part-of-math-class