Education Discussions

Growth Mindset

Essentially, the way students perceive their abilities play a significant role in their motivation and achievement. According to Dweck (2015), when students change their mindsets, it boosts their performance. In particular, for learners who believe that their intelligence is not stagnant and have a growth mindset, Dweck notes that they always performed better than their counterparts who thought their intelligence is fixed. As she goes on to elaborate, students who go through a structure that advocates for the growth mindset have the ability to increase their intellectual knowledge and performed better. Nonetheless, it is also clear that teachers often confuse a growth mindset with a false growth mindset. What is worse is that most of the time, educators keep on fostering a false mindset without noticing the injustice they are doing to the learners.

Virtually, a fixed mindset does not occur by chance, and there are various triggers. For instance, Dweck observes that when faced with a challenge, it is common for individuals to be overly anxious or sometimes feel an inner voice warning over the issue. Other times students feel incompetent or keep on looking for an excuse not to solve the challenge. From a personal level, when I see an educator who is better at something, I am overwhelmed by feelings of envy and eagerness to learn, which has helped me develop a growth mindset.


Dweck, C. (2015). Carol Dweck Revisits the ‘Growth Mindset.’ Education Week. Retrieved from:

Believing in Your Students

It is a fact that, a majority of the students who go through the education system fails to achieve comparable levels of success partly because their teachers secretly doubted their abilities to perform at the same levels with their peers. In his speech, “Do you believe in me?” Sherman (2008) implores the audience to believe in them as students and not to give up on his classmates. Precisely, this may seem far-fetched, but it is possible for teachers with a little conscious effort if they focus on it. In his second speech, Sherman (2015) addresses the educators to believe in their students because it is one of the most important things to their students. From his speech, we extract various ways in which teachers can show the students they believe in them by creating a classroom culture and climate that favors the students. Virtually, there are several ways to reach out to students and nurture a culture of believing in your students. For instance, not using rewards as it implies that the only to get students do something is paying them through the reward (Postman & Weingartner, 2009). The other way is encouraging effort as opposed to achievement. The truth is, not every student can achieve the unrealistic goals of a curriculum test, but every child can try their best. In addition to the above, it is important to desist from telling students they have failed, rather encourage them by telling them they have not done it yet and can do better. Above all and as Dalton notes, teachers should not lose their joy of encouraging students to believe in their abilities.


Postman, N., & Weingartner, C. (2009). Teaching as a subversive activity. New York: Dell Pub. Co.

Sherman, Dalton. (2008, September 19). 10 year old intellect, Dalton Sherman’s keynote speech. Retrieved from:

Sherman, Dalton. (2015, January 13). Dalton Sherman | Extra Yard For Teachers Summit 2015.Retrieved from:

Instructional Models

Teaching is usually based on a set of strategies, where learning relies on instructional models that act as a guide to ensure students are more motivated to learn and efficient retention of information is achieved. Virtually, there are different types of instructional models such as the direct instructional model, cooperative learning, the PBL model, and inquiry-based model.

The direct instructional model is also known as the most straightforward method, which uses explicit teaching techniques to pass on knowledge to a particular subject or unit of study (Gillies, 2009). Usually, the teacher gives directions by standing in front of the classroom and presents information to the learners.

Cooperative learning is a teaching strategy where students are grouped into small teams each with different levels of learning abilities. As Gillies notes, the teacher ensures that students use various learning activities to improve their understanding of the subject. Each member of the team is responsible for both learning and helping others to understand and retain information.

The Problem-based Learning instructional model relies on real-world contexts to teach students for in-depth investigations and understanding of the subject of study (Gillies, 2009). The method uses complex scenarios from real-world issues to develop necessary skills, information gathering, inquiry, and reflection.

The inquiry-based instructional model relies on the ability of the student to investigate scenarios and problems based on their social experience (Gillies, 2009). Instead of using printed materials, the teacher encourages learners to conduct investigations that will satisfy their curiosity, increase their knowledge base, and develop skills.


Gillies, R. M. (2009). Evidence-based teaching: Strategies that promote learning. Rotterdam: Sense.

Appropriateness of Direct Instructional Model and Cooperative Learning

Learner-centered learning has gained momentum over the past few decades as studies show that students are motivated to learn more when conditions encourage them to participate actively in the learning process. In support of this, teachers adopt various instructional models to enhance student discourse and knowledge as well as improve student thinking and reasoning. The direct instructional model and the cooperative learning is by far the most feasible and viable method to enhance effective learning in the instructional setting. Precisely, as Gillies (2009) notes, the direct instructional is best-suited for small chunks of information, which is important to act as prompts before engaging students in cooperative learning. Ostensibly, not all students benefit from listening to the instructor talk all day, and not all lessons are best taught using the method especially in a learner-based approach. Cooperative learning allows independent learning, where students are responsible of their individual and team learning goals. The method allows learners to work together for the improvement of each member of the group. Usually, the method is most appropriate due to its ability to encourage development and improvement of essential skills such as critical thinking, oral communication skills, social skills and improved self-esteem. When students work in groups, they have a chance to express themselves in front of their peer, contribute and feel celebrated, which also enhances student retention.


Gillies, R. M. (2009). Evidence-based teaching: Strategies that promote learning. Rotterdam: Sense.

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