It was a long time ago that I shared the message here on NovaNews which was given to me by one of my first professors – Dr Leo Murphy:
Back then, I never dreamed that his words would have such a huge and long lasting impact on my professional and personal approach to education and learning. Both in and out of the classroom, I hold dear to the principal that success breads more success and that achievement feeds into continued achievement and growth. I have always believed that a positive, warm and non threatening environment in the classroom in which risk taking is encouraged are important ingredients to nurture lifelong learning skills. I also believe that the same holds true to successfully encourage teachers to pursue their own lifelong learning and wrote a series of articles in Educational Technology Solutions in 2015 actively promoting this concept. (See Articles 1-5 ETS listed in the side panel here on NovaNews under the Favourite Posts tab)
Written in my very early days of blogging, I really summed up my own philosophy well when I wrote:
Providing our students with tools to develop as lifelong learners must be paramount in our approach to teaching. Providing our students with opportunities and situations in which they can safely and confidently develop knowledge and skills should be equally paramount in our approach to teaching. As I have eluded to in past blog posts, risk taking in a safe and secure environment is a wonderful way to learn. Establishing a level playing field, in which we recognize that teachers and students are able to learn much from each other is also equally valuable. But establishing expectations that our students can become whoever it is they wish, is really a focus that has dominated my approach to teaching. Instilling confidence in our students that they are able to learn and achieve at a level well beyond their present level is a gift that I strongly believe is of the utmost importance in an approach to teaching.”
Not long after, I encapsulated my philosophy to learning into a graphic:
So coming across a TED video by Carol Dweck, a world-renowned Stanford University psychologist, titled “The power of believing that you can improve!” vindicated my educational philosophy. Reporting on researched based evidence in terms she describes as
the power of yet vs the power of not yet”
Dweck forcefully presents the argument for motivating ways in which to engage, challenge and inspire our students to grow and succeed. Throwing up rhetorical questions for us to ponder, Dweck questions how we are raising our children:
- Are we raising kids who are obsessed with getting A’s?
- Are we raising kids who don’t know how to dream big dreams?
- And are we raising kids who need constant validation of their success?
Dweck talks about building bridges:
- praise kids, not for their talent but for the process they adopt to engage: their effort, their strategies, their focus, their perseverance, their improvement – traits which will develop hardy and resilient kids
Dweck speaks clearly and forcefully. Take 10 minutes to listen to her advice and the research evidence she has in abundance to support that advice!