21st Century Skills

I include the following sentence in my personal statement on Instructional Leadership: Acknowledging that today’s learners are different from previous cohorts, I accept the challenge to collaboratively prepare them for a future that, today, we cannot clearly describe. Many of the jobs that current high school students will have in...Read more

The Power of Yet

The key concept underpinning Growth Mindset are key to learning — but the messaging must be tuned to the audience. For an adult educator audience, Carol Dweck’s Ted Talk may well resonate and encourage teachers to promote a growth mindset. Though the message is important, for skeptical young learner, the...Read more

Problem Solving

Fixed mindset and uncertainty avoiding behaviours are both obstacles to problem solving. So, how do we overcome these? By scaffolding their problem solving processes.  I tell my students this as I encourage a disciplined approach to problem solving that is nicely summarized by the mnemonic G*R*A*S*S: What is Given? What information...Read more

Accept challenge! Struggle is good!

The bull’s eye diagram certainly generates discussion: comfort zone: the student can already do the target learning tasks without help; panic zone: the student cannot do the target learning tasks; and learning zone: (aka. Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development) the student can do the target learning tasks with help. First,...Read more

Mindset and school culture

An important observation regarding growth mindset is that “[learning outcomes] were muted when the peer norms in a class or school did not value challenge-seeking.” So, consider classroom and school culture when promoting growth mindset. In the article, the link to growth vs fixed mindset appears in Geert Hofstede’s uncertainty...Read more

Growth mindset and rubrics

As is common in other learning management systems, BrightSpace (aka. D2L) allows instructors to attach rubrics to evaluation and assessment criteria. In Ontario, the levels are commonly described generically — yawn — as L4, L3, L2, L1,  R (aka L0). Acknowledging the power of yet, why not replace these generic...Read more