I have just read a great blog post at Mindset Works about teaching both over-achieving and under-achieving learners. What is the difference? One would probably think that the over achievers would by definition have a growth mindset. But apparently that is not necessarily the case. They might just want to work hard and do what is required to achieve their goals. But really they don’t have a Growth Mindset.
So what is a Growth Mindset? To be truly effective as learners we need to believe we have the capacity to “get smarter”. We need to believe that we can grow in intelligence. Yet so many learners don’t.
I am more interested in under achievers as they are more often our demographic in adult community education. Many of our learners have not had good experiences at school and have often gone through school thinking and being told they are stupid. How do we convince them that they do have the capacity to learn and to grow their intelligence.
We need to be able to teach them how to learn. We can begin by talking about how the brain works and some strategies like practice and getting enough sleep that really help our brain to learn more effectively. Then we can talk about study skills. We need to teach learning strategies as well as content.