Growth mindset is a simple idea. If you believe that your abilities and talents can be developed through effort and attention, then you are practicing growth mindset. Research shows that, when children believe that their abilities can be developed and that their personal efforts contribute to the learning process, they approach learning and classroom activities with a positive and productive attitude
. In a recent article for Mind/Shift, Katrina Schwartz considers how the popular classroom app ClassDojo contributes to the development of growth mindset in young students.When ClassDojo was launched in 2011, it immediately attracted interest among teachers. The app is designed to help teachers encourage positive classroom behavior by rewarding points to individual students in real time. Points can be given for displays of curiosity, creativity, teamwork, or a host of other positive behaviors on the part of students. As a communication platform, ClassDojo welcomes parents into the mix by informing them whenever their child receives positive recognition from the teacher. Parents track their children’s reward points and reinforce the target practices at home; they can also communicate with the teacher whenever they have questions or concerns. Teachers can text-message parents using the app, and send them videos and photos as well.
In her article, Katrina Schwartz discusses a new project being undertaken by ClassDojo together with Stanford University’s applied research center PERTS (Project for Research That Scales). At the center of this project is the promotion of growth mindset. PERTS and the ClassDojo developers are creating a series of five animated videos for children, each exploring an aspect of growth mindset. Starring in the videos are characters children will already be familiar with: the friendly monsters who make up the ClassDojo world. There’s little green Mojo, who in the first video learns that his brain can be developed through effort. Shaggy blue Katie has one eye and a talent for science, but has to work harder at art. Wide-eyed Bruce is friendly and helpful. Miss Clara is a world-renowned neuro-scientist turned art teacher. The videos take the little monster gang through a sequence of experiences in which they come to understand the role that effort and a positive, can-do attitude play in the learning process. The PERTS researchers plan on surveying teachers who watch and discuss with their classes, in order to discover how successfully they promote growth mindset.
ClassDojo is now being used in two out of three schools in the USA and in over 180 countries around the world. As a successful communication platform, it promotes a positive culture within the classroom and between the classroom and home environment. ClassDojo’s collaboration with PERTS to promote growth mindset promises to engage more and more teachers in pursuing this very productive concept.
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