Reopening: Moving Toward More Equitable Schools
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Twitterchat March 9th: Academic Mindsets Drive Student Achievement

  • Date

  • Author

    April Hattori

What is the role of academic mindsets in creating engaging learning communities?  

"Students enter classrooms with existing academic mindsets that affect their engagement but their mindsets can also be shaped positively by deeper learning experiences. When instruction challenges, engages, and empowers students, teachers can and do influence their attitudes and beliefs about themselves as learners." (excerpt from EL Education's book Learning That Lasts)

[Editor's note: See the Storify summary of the chat here.]

Join our chat on academic mindsets:

  • Thursday, March 9th
  • 7 pm ET
  • #edchatEL

In order for classrooms to function as learning communities, students need to see themselves as learners. Shaping the attitudes and beliefs of students to see themselves as successful while challenging and empowering them as learners is no small task. Camille Farrington, a researcher from University of Chicago, co-developed the concept of “academic mindsets” to describe the attitudes and beliefs of students that contribute to student achievement. She identified them as: 

  • I belong in this learning community. Students have a connection with their peers and teachers and feel that they are a part of a learning community. 
  • I can succeed at this. Students are more willing to engage in tasks when they believe they can succeed. 
  • My ability and competence will grow with my effort. Based on the work by Carol Dweck, students with a growth mindset believe that the “brain is a muscle” and that gets stronger with use. 
  • This work has value for me. Students are able to focus on their academic work when it connects to their lives. 

We’ll explore deeper instruction strategies and practices are designed to build academic mindsets. Framing questions to get you thinking: 

  • Q1: How can educators set up their classrooms and schools as learning communities? 
  • Q2: What is the connection between relational character and academic performance? 
  • Q3: How do you develop growth mindsets in students?
  • Q4: What concrete instructional practices contribute to work that has value for students?

New to Twitterchats?  Here’s a link to a blog with some helpful tips.