Failing to Learn: Building Resilient Minds

SXSWedu 14 Presentation by : Dr. David Dockterman, Eduardo Briceno and Blair Lehman

High performing students are sometimes defined by what they are good at. Students will avoid what they are not good at. Doing something quickly and without effort = being smart. When things get hard they see effort as a bad thing and they become fragile.

Being confused is a good thing?

Most students don't like to be confused. So, they will want to do something about it. Learning occurs when there is a dissonance created. When you get to why something is and is not correct then you have learned. Teachers tend to jump in too soon.

Productive vs. too much confusion- find that point with each student

Reflect with students on the process of learning. How did you get to that answer? Ties to Conley's work.

Brains reward us when we are in some adversity.

Give students the tools to get through the confused state.

High performing peer groups pull others higher. Lower performing peer groups pull others lower.

Grades are performance goals and not learning goals.

We don't have to grade everything. Give feed back more. Feedback on effort and work. Grades tend to lead to competition which lends itself to a fixed mindset. How does that translate with sports? Mastery vs. performance? How much have I learned vs. who got the highest grade. It is how you use grades that matter.

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