Chapters 7 and 8
Chapter 7- Gifted Education and Growth Mindset
All children deserve to have an education to meet their needs, be it below grade level, at grade level or above grade level. Differentiation, as mentioned it Chapter 3, meets all of these educational needs. Is there a need to put a name to above average students if their needs are being met?
According to this Chapter, the word “gifted” comes with similar connotations to “talent” and “smart”. It implies that a child’s intelligence is set in stone, not something that can change. A gifted child is a gifted child, they should not experience any difficulties in the area in which they are gifted. Telling a child that they are gifted may end up being a negative for them, causing them to stop taking risks and playing it safe to ensure that they can keep their gifted status.
Instead of calling a child gifted, Mary Cay Ricci suggests changing the wording. Saying that a child has high potential or is a highly motivated student, in her opinion, would be more akin to allowing for a growth mindset.
- What are your thoughts on the terms Mary Cay Ricci suggests using instead of using the term “gifted”?
- Does your school or district have any supports in place for “gifted” students? Do these programs support a growth mindset? If not, how might you change it to support a growth mindset for these students?
Chapter 8- What are Some Ways To Help Students Adopt a Growth Mindset?
In my opinion, this is the most important section in the book as it sheds some light into how to teach this topic to the students. A huge part of teaching students about growth mindset is to teach them about the brain. I found this to be a very fun unit for my students. We learned how different pathways are formed and how we can change our pathways with practice and repetition.
We have also been doing a lot of STEM projects and it is very interesting to see which students are beginning to adopt a growth mindset and which students have a fixed mindset. One of my students has such a fixed mindset that when she came up against a challenge, she turned her back on her group, crossed her arms and very adamantly said “I give up!” While other students, when faced with an impossible task- less than 10 minutes to create a working model, when nothing has worked up until that point- said “I know that this is not going to work, but I am not giving up! I am going to use all of my time and try to get it figured out.”
Mary Cay Ricci has also published a book entitled “Ready to Use Resources for Mindsets in the Classroom”. I have not yet taken a look at this book, but I have purchased it and it should be here very soon. I am interested to see what is in this book and how it can help me to support my students on their paths to growth mindsets.
- Do you have any students that have demonstrated any moments of growth mindset? Do you have any students that demonstrate a real fixed mindset?
- What are some ideas you have for implementing lessons on growth mindset? How or where would you integrate it into the curriculum?
- Have you already tried to implement growth mindset lessons? What went well? What might you change?
- If you have not implemented any of the growth mindset lessons, where will you begin?