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Saturday / July 22

Your Questions Answered: Making the Growth Mindset Come Alive in Classroom Practice

This Monday, January 23, Corwin hosted a webinar with Jon Saphier, author of High Expectations Teaching: How We Persuade Students to Believe and Act on “Smart Is Something You Can Get” on “Making the Growth Mindset Come Alive in Classroom Practice.” Over 1500 educators signed up, and we received more questions during the Q&A session than we could answer at the end of the webinar. For those questions that were missed, Dr. Saphier has provided a response below.

We also received numerous requests for the slides and for more information about Dr. Saphier’s “50 Ways to Get Students to Believe in Themselves.” We are making the slides available for download here, along with a poster featuring the 50 ways.

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Responses to webinar questions

Q: What is your response when students say they can’t study without their headphones on listening to music and or the tv.

Dr. Saphier: I’ve learned that student can, indeed, work with music playing though I personally find it distracting. There is quite convincing data, however, that they can’t while multi-tasking, doing things like paying attention to TV programs or texting. So I’d say no.

Q: What does it take to initiate effective effort with upper elementary students?

Dr. Saphier: We need to teach them explicitly what it is (the 6 attributes) with examples, role playing, and build self-evaluation according to the attributes into academic tasks and classroom routines. The teaching of effective effort, however, should be accompanied all the other of the “50 Ways” so that the students believe it would actually improve their achievement and want to do so.

Q: What is your opinion on grouping students according to a state/national test? 

Dr. Saphier: Students should be grouped flexibly for skill work on particular skills, not inflexibly based on standardized test results.

Q: Our school focuses on differentiation. So is it wrong that you don’t ask some children the more difficult questions?

Dr. Saphier: What is highly problematic is avoiding giving higher level thinking opportunities to low skill students. All our children are capable of higher level thinking; and to think they need singular focus on technical skill development walls them off from the kind of thinking and problem solving that makes school interesting.

If you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording here: Making the Growth Mindset Come Alive in Classroom Practice.

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Charline is the Marketing Manager for Equity and Professional Learning at Corwin.

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