Wednesday, April 10, 2013

L&B NYC: Robert Brooks

L&B 2013 NYC Robert Brooks - The Power of Mindsets: Nurturing Motivation and Resilience in Students Gah! This guy is hilarious! :) Sam Goldstein at UofU worked with him on a lot of research! Over 100 articles posted there, lots of materials from presentations, etc. Mindset goes back a long way - locus of control, attribution theory, learned helplessness/optimism, self-efficacy The power of mindsets Mindsets: The assumptions and expectations we have for ourselves and others that guide our behavior We all have words and images that we use to describe ourselves. Those dramatically impact how we behave and perform. Name two or three of your greatest success. Name two or three of your worst experiences. What did you learn from both? These are mindset questions. Every child you work with knows how you feel about yourself and how you feel about your kids. And that will directly impact their mindsets and what they will accomplish. If you want to touch the hearts and minds of children and change their mindsets, you must identify their strengths (their islands of competence) and have those as your primary mindset. ARTICLE ON HIS WEBSITE: You get what you expect What is the mindset of educators and other professionals who touch both the hearts and minds of students, nurturing motivation, learning, and resilience? Do we identify and discuss this mindset at staff meetings? Every school has a mindset Ask kids, "What do you like about your school? What do you wish you could change?" Tests scare and confuse kids. Even the disruption of the schedule can be a major problem. Features of a positive mindset The heart and soul of this work: - To believe in the capacity of students to become more hopeful and resilient. To believe we can serve as a "charismatic adult." Why is it that some children can grow up in horrendous situations and yet as adults be optimistic and dignified? Why can some grow up in horribly abusive situations and end up healthy and happy? "School is a place where my deficits rather than my strengths are highlighted." "Going to school is like climbing Mt. Everest every day without equipment or training. Then I do it again every night: it's called homework." In every study of resilience, there was a person who helped and guided and supported The ones who make it have during their childhood or adolescence a charismatic adult - someone from whom the child or adolescent gathers strength. Often a teacher. ( Ask yourself at the end of each day: Are the children in my classes stronger today because of what I've done, or less strong? Charismatic adults believe no child should ever be written off, because you never know how they're going to end up as adults. (YouTube: Think Different: Obsessive Compulsive writing on chalkboard cartoon - gotta use this to teach behaviorism! We are the authors of our own lives. We have far more control than we give ourselves credit for. But we don't have control over everything. But that is not an excuse to not try. Features of a positive mindset (cont.) - To be knowledgeable about the material we are teaching and excited about our role as an educator - To believe that all children from birth want to learn and be successful There are some words that must be banned from our schools: lazy, unmotivated, doesn't care. Whenever you say these words you've written off a child. Robert White: one of the major motivations in life is the drive to be effective and successful (competence motivation), and it's there from birth. When we say that kids aren't motivated at school, we actually mean that they aren't motivated to do what we're trying to get them to do. - To believe that all students are motivated, but unfortunately, some are dominated by "avoidance motivation" as a way of protecting themselves from situations that they believe will lead to failure and humiliation. We must ask how to lessen avoidance and teach students in the ways in which they learn best and avoid a "prescription for failure." Too often, the work we give and the way we teach in schools is a prescription for failure. How do we lessen avoidance motivation? Ask the kids why they feel this way! Ask them what should be changed! We must stop punishing suffering kids! - To believe that if the strategies we are using with students are not effective then we must ask, "What is it that we can do differently to help the situation?" rather than continue to wait for the student to change first. This should not be seen as blaming but rather as empowering ourselves. People who are resilient, when faced with a challenge, look for things they can do differently. "If the horse is dead, get off!" In education, we seem to have a hard time getting off the horse. ( AMAZING results from getting kids involved rather than punishing them. Latino kids asked to tutor younger kids in reading (We need your help). Drop-out rate went from 45% to 3%.  YouTube: Stuck on the escalator ( Read Daniel Pink's "Drive" (quotes Edward Deci (self-determination theory) a lot - Features of a positive mindset (cont.) - To create "motivating environments" that nurture intrinsic motivation, learning, and a "resilient mindset": Deci's focus on basic needs that apply to administrators, staff, and students 1. Relatedness: The need to belong and feel connection (and let's add the word welcome). When any member of the school environment feels alienated, learning and achievement will be compromised and anger and resentment will become dominant features. Ask your kids: What can teachers/administrators do to make you feel welcome? Greet by name, smile.  2. Autonomy: The need for self-determination and autonomy, which are significant features of a sense of intrinsic motivation, ownership, and resilience. a. What kind of choices and decisions do we provide staff and students? Do we encourage their feedback and participation? Kids who are given a choice do more homework, better work, and feel their teachers care more. Lots of articles on his website. b. Do our disciplinary practices promote self-discipline and self-control as well as nurturing a safe environment? Start the year by saying that there are two or three non-negotiable rules, then ask what rules we need in the classroom for everyone to feel safe, learn, etc. Student council should form school rules. 3. Competence. The need to feel competent. To identify, reinforce, and display each youngster's "islands of competence" -- we must adopt a strength-based model if we are to nurture motivation and a "resilient mindset." Every teacher should write down each student's islands of competence and focus on those (seating chart, TeacherKit app, etc. so they're always in front of us) a. Do we provide students with an opportunity to contribute to and make a positive difference in their environment? SOS - Serving Our School, buttons for students to wear, if they're wearing the button (they sign up for times) they help with odd jobs around the school. Bullying reduced, attendance and achievement up. b. Do we foster the attitude that mistakes are experiences from which to learn?  Some kids would rather be violent than look stupid. Would rather act out than look stupid. The best way to get rid of a raging elephant in a school is to talk about it. Ask the first day: Who in this class thinks they'll make a mistake this year? Your hand should be the first to go up. Talk about a time a teacher embarrassed you and how it made you feel. Then brainstorm together ways to remove the fear of humiliation in the classroom so they can take appropriate risks and learn. "Don't Argue with Children"

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