Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Jo Boaler - Growth Mindset

Jo Boaler is a professor at Stanford University. It was suggested to me that her growth mindset research might be of interest. Having read through a range of different articles she had written this one makes a connection with me.

Her thinking seems to work well alongside the 'Locus of Control' that has also interested me. Together the two concepts blend and help to explain and give reason to how they are successful.

The locus of control is about the learner knowing and believing they have control. And the growth mindset is that the learner believes in their ability to grow. Clearly the two concepts work well alongside each other and are natural siblings.

In Jo Boaler's research article Urban Success: A Multidimensional Mathematics Approach with Equitable Outcomes (Jo Boaler, Stanford 2006) she talks in depth about the what and the how.
For me the summary or key concepts are below

Her research indicates that

  • Practice of tasks and effort into those tasks do produce greater intelligence.
  • If a student has a belief in their ability to grow and achieve then they will, significantly. 
  • The teachers also needs to have the same belief in that learner or all learners as it greatly aids in their success.
  • Mixed ability mindsets lead to the support of the students belief of themselves and hence their success.

 Sure, some of these seem logical and not new to us. But do we act on then? Her research backs my theory/inquiry into mixed ability grouping. Having read this report I feel that I now have more belief in the learning changes we are implementing here at school. In all honestly I have been struggling with belief that mixed ability groups are right for our students. Her research gives me faith that were are headed in the right direction.

1 comment:

  1. Kia ora, Paula! It is fascinating to read your unpacking of Jo Boaler's growth mindset article as part of your CoL inquiry and Maths PD at Glen Taylor. It resonates that “Mixed ability mindsets lead to the support of the students belief of themselves and hence their success”. As your inquiry cycle continues, I'm looking forward to hearing more about the successes and challenges you experience working with mixed-ability groupings for Maths.