Understanding how to use feedback for personal growth is a valuable life skill. Throughout the year, our subject teachers support students with their learning by providing them with ongoing feedback about class activities and assessments. In addition, teachers, as well as advisers, create opportunities for students to reflect on their own progress, as we want our students to develop important intrapersonal skills, such as initiative, self-regulation and self-evaluation.
The release of next week’s first full progress report, which includes grades, a summary of learning skills and next-step comments for each subject, as well as December’s adviser report, which focuses on student growth in our four pillars of character, offer students important opportunities to reflect on their growth and set goals for the next segment of the school year.
Ultimately, we hope this iterative process of goal-setting and reflection helps students build a growth mindset. The work of Stanford researcher Dr. Carol Dweck underlines the importance of developing this mindset. Dweck’s research over the past 20 years on the growth mindset has been highly influential in education, as it emphasizes the importance of effort and learning how to learn. Focused, timely feedback helps students make the connection between effort and achievement, and more importantly, understand they are capable of growth.
While I recognize that grades are important, Dweck’s advice to parents is to focus on effort and the process of learning. By praising your children for such things as sustained effort or the willingness to try new approaches, we can work together to help our students build the growth mindset that will enable them to realize their full potential.