Lessons in growth mindset from my recent overseas conference

Most of us love going overseas and travelling on holidays but every time you go to a new place, you are having to stretch your comfort zone. This means you have to¬†not only trust your own resources and your skills to manage any given situation, you also have to trust yourself and live with a growth mindset knowing you will grow from the experience, both positive and negative ones ūüôā

I have just returned from the International Positive Education Network (IPEN) Conference in Dallas Texas where I participated in the first global Appreciative Inquiry Summit in Education with David Cooperrider. With a thousand participants it was an experience to share, learn and watch how it was facilitated.

In saying this , it was also an experience in practicing a growth mindset given I am actually¬†an introvert and don’t really enjoy large gatherings of people or participating in small talk as a means of networking.

I don’t know about you but sometimes I have so much going on inside my own mind, I can lose sight of trusting my own instincts and strengths. Sometimes I¬†become utterly confused in what I am¬†trying to say that¬†I can begin to doubt myself.

As my own anxiety ebbed and flowed with different activities we were asked to do, I decided to really embrace the key themes shared by  Sir Anthony Seldon (President IPEN, Vice chancellor Uni of Buckingham) where he explained how we as educators need to;

  • Be BRAVE enough to move away from the factory model of education to a more personalised model of education,
  • Awaken our HEARTS given we are not just our brains, we must think holistically and include creativity and compassion in education to develop both sides of the brain, not just the science but the creative arts as well
  • More INCLUSIVE by moving¬†away from binary thinking eg my faith OR your faith, to my faith AND your faith working together
  • LET GO¬†of needing to know all the answers and be open to discovery and improvement.

Needless to say, I was able to reframe my ANTS and be in place of inner peace (mostly) and set my purpose to one of service, thinking about how I could support and contribute to the ideas of others. Not to teach but to acknowledge the great work that is already happening in Positive Education in China, Singapore, Dubai and Mexico and see where or how i could add value.

The moral of the story…… Be aware of your own mindset, times where your comfort zone is stretched, how you manage these emotions and thoughts, and the importance of connecting and trusting your self. These are the foundations of living and modelling a growth mindset.

More on the conference to come … in the mean time check out these resources

Conference resources you might be interested in….

  • Anglea Duckworth‘s CHARACTER LAB, offers free resources, playbooks, lessons, activities and videos for teaching growth mindset as well as character strengths.
  • Laurie Santos, from Yale University, shared¬†the story of how she created the most popular course at Yale “Living the Good and Happy Life”, the syllabus for¬†this course is freely available online
  • Molly Dahl created YOUTH POSITIVE, a curriculum and resource for teachers for teaching wellbeing to¬†teens
  • David Cooperrider developed APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY many years ago and now the United Nations uses this method to reflect and collaborate for large scale institutional change. I love seeing schools come alive using this method, because it creates teacher buy-in by appreciating the great work they are already doing. Checkoutt more at his website.

Of course, there is so much more which I will continue to share. In the mean time, I hope you find these helpful and enjoy your holiday break!



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