This evening I stumbled upon a couple of interesting TED Talks that raise some important educational points. The issues raised in these talks reflect some of the themes I am currently exploring in terms of my own teaching, learning and leadership practice.

Carol Dweck on #GrowthMindset and the power of ‘not yet’.

‘Not yet’ gives you a path into the future; you understand you are on a learning curve. 

Developing an understanding that your abilities can be developed. 

Instead of luxuriating in the power of yet, pupils can become gripped in the tyranny of now.

Fixed mindset students run from errors, they don’t engage with them.

Growth mindset students process errors, learn from them and correct them.

Are we raising our children from ‘now’ instead of ‘yet’? Students who can’t dream big in fear of failure?

Certainly, this last question reflects feedback from business and industry professionals who remark that ‘young’ employees are, perhaps, not as innovative in the workplace. [Note: I need to find a source for that!] Dweck continues to explore how we can achieve the development of growth mindsets with the first idea focusing on praising ‘wisely’; praising the process that children engage in. Praising their effort, strategies, perseverance and improvement, in order to develop ‘hardy’ students.

Bill Gates on the ‘real feedback’ teachers need.

How we can help all teachers get the tools and feedback they need. 

What are top countries around the world doing in their education systems to support teachers?

In Shanghai: ‘Younger’ teachers observe and work with more experienced teachers. Study groups for teachers on a weekly basis. All teachers observe each other. 

Microsoft study encouraged teachers to watch videos of others and look for specific aspects of practice. 

Video offers a degree of ‘reality’ that we can’t escape from and can help grow and develop practice.

Perhaps, not new thinking and nothing we didn’t already know. But, this TED Talk does bring the issue to the forefront. Despite focusing on American systems of education, there are definitely pedagogical issues surrounding teacher feedback making their rounds in our education system currently. This discussion is always worth remembering and bringing to the forefront of reflecting on teaching standards in schools.

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