Reminder! Come to the PAC Meeting on Thursday at 7:00 pm to learn how you can help your child develop a growth mindset. Our own Lori Prodan will be presenting.
What is a growth mindset?
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.
How does Montessori encourage a growth mindset?
Several aspects of the Montessori curriculum and philosophy align with growth mindset development. For example, our teachers avoid using external rewards such as gold stars. The emphasis is placed on individual effort and reaching for one’s personal best. An extrinsic reward might stop a child from extending himself because he will learn to exert the least amount of effort necessary to receive the reward. It may also make a child who had put forth great effort feel it was in vain. Lack of extrinsic rewards, on the other hand, nurture children’s intrinsic joy in the process of learning.
Montessori teachers are trained to avoid evaluative judgments of students. Many Montessori materials are “self-correcting,” meaning children will independently be alerted to their own mistakes by way of the materials themselves. For example, during the Pink Tower activity, if the child finishes her tower and it appears visually disharmonious, she will likely take it apart and do it again to create the progression of the largest to smallest cube in order. She will see that she has made a mistake despite little or no teacher intervention. These kinds of materials allow children the freedom to make mistakes with no penalty, cultivating their willingness to take on challenges and providing an important message that we learn by doing and practicing. This allows children to be confident risk-takers with strong “growth mindsets.”