Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Creating a “Belonging Mindset”

Most of us are acquainted with Carol Dweck’s notion of a growth mindset—that you can develop your basic abilities with hard work and dedication. At Best Practices for Legal Education, Carrie Sperling advocates a “belonging mindset”: Students will have a better chance for success if they have not only a growth mindset but also belief that they belong in law school:

Belonging mindsets: When students feel they belong in an educational environment, they perform better and are less likely to drop out of a program. This is particularly true for underrepresented students who, by virtue of being different, often feel they don’t belong.

When negative stereotypes exist, members of the stereotyped group worry about whether they fit in, whether they will succeed in law school, and whether the legal profession is for them. These worries can deplete students’ cognitive resources, zapping them of their motivation and their ability to bounce back from setbacks. Because learning depends on motivation, students without a sense of belonging fall behind.

That’s why educators must be in tune with the kind of environment they create. Do you work to encourage belonging mindsets?

You can read more here (Nov. 2, 2017).


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