Last night, Dan Haesler presented a community forum for a large crowd of interested parents, students and staff. He explained the emerging research into Mindset Theory and unpacked this in a very enjoyable and informative way for all in attendance. Through a range of anecdotes, educational experiences and examples, Dan highlighted the need to grow the mindset of everyone so that they are able to embrace new challenges and seek feedback as a normal part of the learning process. The dangers of reinforcing a ‘Fixed’ mindset with individuals was explored and the need to offer praise for effort, rather than the result, was a key takeaway for all in attendance. Similarly, Dan challenged the audience to think about the need to have individuals engaging in tasks because they are intrinsically driven and passionate in the activity, rather than because they have been told they are good at it, or may have possibly received an award or recognition for doing well.
In an earlier session with school staff and leaders, Dan also challenged his audience to consider opening their minds to new ideas and thinking, and subsequently moving beyond the ‘Fixed’ entity that we become comfortable with, because we are familiar with the way it works. Again, like the students we see daily, we as educators need to ensure that we seek and embrace new thinking and are prepared to learn through persistence and effort, even if we encounter difficulty or challenges along the way.
There were many interesting points to consider during these sessions and we look forward to seeing aspects of ‘Growth Mindset’ theory and aspects of Dan’s presentations playing out in different ways across the fabric of Barker College in the future.