Many of us believe in the research by Dr. Carol Dweck on “changing mindsets”, but what does this really mean?
For me it means that EVERY student has been directly supported in the continuous development of their thinking—cognitive, creative, and critical thinking related to content learning. It is not only about creating a positive environment for learning or simply stimulating students' thinking with great questions. Here is a quote from research conducted by Cynthia Manning at the special needs school, Learning Prep, outside Boston, MA USA:
"Thinking Maps give me a chance to learn. I couldn’t get it when one of my old teachers talked to me all day and then wanted me to write a lot of words. At this new school, I can understand the teachers when they use the maps. And I can finally do the work because I get it!"
This is also from a chapter by Cynthia in:“Visual Tools for Transforming Information into Knowledge” published by Corwin Press:
Thinking Maps is one of the most powerful tools that Learning Prep School uses to facilitate learning for students who have been unable to succeed in other educational environments. Four years ago, we felt we served our students well, but they were not where we knew they could be in their daily performance and their abilities to perform on the Massachusetts exam, the MCAS. We now see the significant results of our students’ performance through the use of these visual tools integrated into our overall program, and students can see themselves differently, as independent learners capable of “getting it,”
So check out Cynthia’s research and the documents we offer in a section of the research called “diverse learners” for a kaleidoscope view showing how learning styles, language differences, multiple intelligences and the interactions of gender, race, class and culture are influenced by focusing on developing ALL students’ abilities to think in a variety of ways.