Combining Cognitive Learning with Growth Mindset for Middle School Students
Let's Build On What We Know
Why Combine Metacognition with Growth Mindset?
Despite our best intentions, middle school students are slipping through the cracks of our education system through no fault of their own. Reform for the middle grades has often leaned heavily on improving academic performance and left socio-emotional health by the wayside. This course offers a view of combining skills from cognitive learning and principles of growth mindset to nurture the learning ethic of students. Optimal learning for middle school students involves developing personal competence: knowing how to achieve certain results and feeling efficacious in doing so. Support of increased self efficacy in the classroom provides the scaffolding necessary for increased learning, motivation, and the ability to deal effectively with mistakes.
STUDENTS AND STRATEGIES
The specific cognitive strategies most effective for middle school students are:
- focus intently and beat procrastination
- exert self-discipline even when it doesn't come naturally
- study actively not passively
The specific growth mindset principles applicable to middle school students are:
- take ownership over your attitude
- value the process over the end result
- view challenges as opportunities
Ideally, a team of teachers would work together to connect with middle school students and encourage a safe and supportive community wherein students and teachers understand that academic and emotional growth is necessary for future pursuits.
Unit 1 will provide a more detailed description of the cognitive learning strategies listed above;
Unit 2 will offer specific case studies of middle school students to remind us of their typical attitudes and behaviors;
Unit 3 will then cover how growth mindset principles can be implemented in middle school and provide tips for a reflective journal to record implementation of strategies of choice
Click the title of a unit to go to its page
Unit 1: Best Cognitive Learning Strategies for Middle School Students
Here is the place to review the temporary benefits of traditional studying methods and the long-term benefits of learning how to learn (metacognition). The cognitive strategies specifically for middle schoolers will also be found in this unit.
Unit 2: Middle School Students Exposed
Case Studies of middle school students are provided in this section as a reminder of typical behaviors and attitudes that these students hold.
Unit 3: Growth Mindset Principles that Help
Growth Mindset Principles are shared here; including possible strategies of implementation for the middle school classroom or as part of the curriculum
Erkens, C, Schimmer, T & Vagle, N. 2019. Growing Tomorrow's Citizens In Today's Classrooms: Assessing 7 Critical Competencies. Solution Tree Press
Oakley, B and Schewe, O. 2021. Learn Like A Pro: Science Based Tools to Become Better at Anything. St. Martin's Essentials
Cohen, J. 1999. Educating Minds and Hearts: Social Emotional Learning and the Passage into Adolescence. Teachers College Press