Teachers inherently want to see their students succeed. It’s why they got into the education business. Each will have their own style, but there are often common themes in the most effective classrooms. Research has been telling us for some time that a more constructivist approach has longer lasting effects and creates deeper understanding than the old lecture to lines of desks model. In response, teachers spend their spare time attending seminars and lectures to learn how to apply these new methods to their classroom. They learn to use encouragement over praise and logical consequences rather than punishment. The “problem’ child is now seen as having a hard time rather than giving the people around them a hard time. Classrooms are restructured for differentiated learning with more discovery learning and alternative assessments.
Campuses, districts, and states spend precious resources to find just the right intervention to get a response that will graph out improved achievement. Standardized tests are created to monitor the responses to interventions. National agencies watch to make sure no child gets left behind. Yet, dissatisfaction continues. Students are burnt out. Teachers are worn to a nub. Parents are desperate to know what is the best way to help their child. There seems to be a missing piece to the puzzle. Something just isn’t quite right.
Self-fulfilling prophecy isn’t a new concept. It’s been long known that the learning environment, curriculum, and instruction shape a student’s attitude. Attitude then drives performance and achievement. But what drives core attitudes? What makes students response differently to the same interventions? Could the link bringing it all together lie in the notion of growth mindset?