It’s your turn. Instead of a teaching tip today, I’d like to invite you to share your own expertiseby submitting a proposal to next year’s CELT Conference, scheduled for October 8-9, 2015. The conference will focus on Academic Tenacity, or “grit,” the resilience in the face of challenge that turns academic potential into academic success. Recent work on the psychology of learning indicates that non-cognitive factors—motivation, habits of self-discipline, self-perception, and beliefs about learning itself—are vital to academic achievement.
In “Academic Tenacity: Mindsets and Skills the Promote Long-Term Learning,” (2014) Carol Dweck, Gregory Walton, and Geoffrey Cohen identify proven interventions that increase academic achievement by developing tenacity. These include teaching students that intelligence is not fixed but can be developed, helping them feel that they belong and that the curriculum is relevant to their lives, and helping them to set goals and learn self-control strategies. Faculty can foster academic tenacity in their students by making their courses challenging and setting high expectations; scaffolding learning with feedback, support, and opportunities to fail and retry; and fostering the students’ sense that theybelong and are valued by their instructor and peers.
I have learned this year that our campus is full of creative and effective teachers; surely you are building grit and resilience in your students. Won’t you share with us? We are specifically looking for presentations on the following:
- Setting high expectations and maintaining academic challenge
- Fostering resilience and persistence, especially among underserved students
- Linking learning to real-world interest and long-term goals
- Sustaining effort and motivation
- Developing a “growth mindset”
- Meta-cognition, self-awareness, and self-reflection
- Risk-taking and safe failures in the learning process
- Formative feedback to promote persistence
- Processes of revision and iteration
- Fostering a sense of belonging in the classroom and beyond
- Building an institutional culture of creative risk-taking
- Other innovative pedagogical research and practice
* Authored by Dr. Katherine McCarthy.