IB DP, Inquiry and the Growth Mindset

I just finished a great PD session led by our High School Principal and Vice Principals about the Growth Mindset and how we can make it the foundation of our approach to learning. There were a lot of great background resources shared including this video which sums up the effect of praise on the development of student’s mindset.

As we split up to examine how the growth mindset would impact all areas of our school from assessment to school culture and proceeded to feedback what the groups discussed, an interesting comment was made to the effect of:

Inquiry, to support the Growth Mindset is a great instructional strategy, but it takes a lot of time. We need to make a choice between covering the content necessary for the IGCSE and IB DP exams or inquiry-based teaching.

Now, this strikes me as interesting. Are we saying that in order to “cover the material” we’d be willing to sacrifice what we know is a teaching method that better supports student learning?

I actually think this is a false dichotomy. You can should teach in a way that supports the Growth Mindset and doing so doesn’t have to mean all inquiry, all the time. I also think that you can effective teach an IB DP subject without being a slave to “coverage.” The key to doing so is being very strategic about who in your class needs what level of support on the items on the syllabus and delivering that both in class and via good inquiry-based homework tasks that the students can actually use to learn content on their own.

I want to hear from you.  Are you teaching DP and using inquiry? Are you personalising learning instead of serving up the same meal of content to everyone whether they need it or not? What are some good diagnostic tools that you use to know what they actually can do already? Is this a crazy idea or can it actually work?

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