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  • “Change is the end result of all                    true learning.”―Leo Buscaglia

Creating Significant Learning Environments

Revisiting Growth-Mindset, Part A

      Leo Buscaglia makes an excellent point. In the end, if we don't change what we are doing, have we truly learned?  This is the most appropriate quote I could find after working through this course. What I  believed to be true and what I derived from the readings from early semesters really was put to the test this semester as both my Innovation plan and my initial feelings about the Growth-Mindset plan were put to the test. Ultimately, I have wanted to make changes to many elements within each plan.

     For my innovation plan, I originally wanted to combine radiologic procedures courses from the lecture/lab to a more blended format. I wanted to combine the 3 related courses of radiographic positioning so the students could have access to all the material until they reach mastery.  Since then, it has evolved to combining the imaging principles course with the procedures courses along with patient care and pathology so the students could work on real-world scenarios and problem-solving in an environment where collaboration can happen across 4 different cohorts at different levels in the program. This also creates a significant learning environment (CSLE) because the students can apply the principles of choice, ownership, and voice in creating those authentic learning environments (COVA). In the beginning, I was reaching to understand what that even meant. Now I am clear that it is about making meaningful connections between your learning and the real world.  I wasn't grasping the full concept so I was just going to blend the class. I wanted to add online lectures and activities outside of class and take away in-class lectures. It takes much more creativity to transform a course into a significant learning environment. This will continue to evolve as we use reflection and self-assessment through each step to encourage those meaningful connections.

     After re-reading Carol Dweck's book on Growth Mindset, and reevaluating my Growth-mindset plan for implementation, I haven't changed what elements that I originally considered; however, I do now realize that using the principles of growth mindset without adding additional activities that reinforce the students understanding will not give me the results I need.  It is not enough to encourage a try/fail/try mentality if the students think that the grade is derived from the effort alone. However, I do believe that the elements that I have implemented do keep students encouraged do work to keep them from giving up in frustration. Mistakes are expected and encouraged, growth comes from getting it wrong, not getting it right. I already use "yet"  with my students and they know that everyone is capable of learning radiographic procedures. As long as they are willing to keep going then we are willing to teach them. This is grit and how we use it in our program. Your perseverance and passion for the subject has to be long-sustaining. We recognize differences in each learner and know that the path to the end takes a different amount of time for everyone. I begin my courses with the explanation of the importance grit and that the two elements (passion and perseverance) are critical to making it to the finish line.  One of those elements is feedback, both giving and receiving. Students have to take ownership of their learning and they have to be willing to give feedback to their classmates.  Great feedback comes from learners that are passionate about the outcomes. The students begin with peer review in the very first semester and continue through every course. This semester, I have added the element of self-assessment that we use in this program. The hope is that setting a precedent for continuous feedback will keep the students in the growth mindset. There is always room for growth and improvement. The desire is also for the students to realize that constructive criticism is very important to learning and if they are not getting/giving it then there is still much to learn. Next using that feedback for both reflection and correction and then approaching the assignments again, no matter how many times it takes, until understanding happens. That is perseverance and being able to sustain that until the learning takes hold. I fully expect for my activities and my viewpoint on using growth mindset to continue to evolve as I progress through each semester. 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

    

    

References

Duckworth, A. (2019). Grit. Vermilion. 

Dweck, C. S. (2016). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Ballantine Books. 

Fink, L. D. (2013). Creating significant learning experiences, revised and updated an integrated approach to                                             designing college courses. Jossey-Bass.

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of Constant Change.                            CreateSpace?

Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design (expanded second ed.). Alexandria, Virginia:                                                      Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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