Weekly Message – Growing a Mindset

September 25, 2017

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. – Maya Angelou

Hello!  While the weather didn’t feel like it this weekend, I was reminded by the bright colors of the trees that fall is here and we’re moving rapidly into the semester.  It’s the time where we can see growth and the potential for significant change, even though it’s only a month into the semester.

Last week, I was delighted by a surprise visit by a UW – S alumni.   A student in my freshman seminar four years ago, we continued our conversations over the years to learn together about the world and explore new opportunities (including Wisconsin in Scotland).  Now a graduate student in a professional program, this alumni shared how much both curricular and co-curricular activities impacted personal growth. The support from faculty and staff in emerging fully into his own identity, as well as his connections with classmates and now long term friends, are invaluable.

Even as we work with students, how do we envision them as alumni?  In what ways are we encouraging them into new opportunities? The growth mindset is a framework that can be used to encourage students who struggle and may not see themselves as learning new skills or knowledge.

The growth mindset was studied by Dr. Carol Dweck and discussed in her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” (2007).  This mindset supports the belief that people can develop their basic abilities through hard work and dedication. Intelligence and talents are a starting point.

The growth mindset can help us as teachers to encourage development in our students. Feedback is a critical part. As stated in Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education “students need help in assessing existing knowledge and competence…Students need frequent opportunities to perform and receive suggestions for improvement. At various points during college, and at the end, students need chances to reflect on what they have learned, what they still need to know, and how to assess themselves” (Chickering and Gamson, 1987).  Final scores on an exam or in a game means little if feedback is not provided to help students improve.

Effective feedback is timely and specific.  It provides opportunities to learn what has been done well and areas where improvement is needed.  Dr. Maryellen Weimer, provides ideas at http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/giving-students-more-effective-feedback/. As you consider feedback you’re providing to students, her ideas can increase your impact and effectiveness in supporting students in their growth. In addition, how we talk with our students about improvement is important. Seehttps://www.mindsetworks.com/websitemedia/resources/growth-mindset-feedback-tool.pdffor ideas on statements that encourage learning.

Upcoming events THIS WEEK!

  • The Well-being Community of Practice meets this Wednesday, September 27 from noon – 12:50 p.m. Our first meeting’s topic is Mind full or Mindful.Mindfulness is maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Come learn how to experience a variety of mindfulness research-backed impacts, including reduction in stress, improvements in job satisfaction, emotional regulation, and focus. Randy Barker and Mimi Rappley-Larson will facilitate our learning and conversation.
  • Lecture Capture is this Thursday, September 28 in Swenson Hall 2005 from noon – 12:50 p.m.. Lecture capture is a broad term that covers most any technology that allows instructors to record lecture course content in a classroom, studio, office or even using portable devices. The recorded lectures then can be made available digitally to students in a variety of formats to facilitate enhanced teaching and student learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom. If you are considering using lecture capture to develop digital media for the development of a flipped classroom (course modules), supplemental instruction, hybrid courses, online courses or just to augment your in-class lectures this CETL Teaching with Technology Session on Lecture Capture is for you. Topics include: Using Office Mix, Kaltura CaptureSpace and managing video content within Learn@UW-Superior.

  • Faculty and staff interested in advancing undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity (URSCA) both in the classroom and beyond are invited to attend the first meeting of the URSCA Peer Network this Thursday, September 28 from noon – 12:50 p.m. in the CETL conference room. (This is the correct time – last week I goofed and put down 11:30 – 12:30.) This meeting will focus on sharing experiences and challenges, and participants will provide input to develop a list of topics for future meetings. Whether you are an experienced mentor or looking for tools and resources to get started, the Peer Network will have something to offer. For more information, please contact co-facilitators Julie O’Leary and Cheong Soon Gan.  Please note: We needed to make some changes in the October and November meetings.  The network will now meet on October 24 and November 16 (rather than October 16 and November 20).


Coming up next week:

Supporting Growth in Non-traditional Students with Monte Stewart and students from the Vets and Non-traditional Student Center is on Thursday, October 5 from 11:30 a.m. –  12:50 p.m.  Come hear the perspectives of students and brainstorm ideas to address challenges in learning.


Please note that the Green Zone training on 9/27 has been postponed until November 7.

About UW-Superior CETL

I'm part of the UW-Superior CETL Team and the site administrator for our CETL Blog. Contact me if you have any questions or concerns related to this blog. Thanks!
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