Parents as Coaches

Working with schools inTurkeythis week I had two opportunities to meet with parent groups examining how they support (coach) their children’s school success. The large number of parents who attended and the interest of those staying after to ask questions suggest that this is a topic for continued exploration.

We began by having parents explore their beliefs about ability being fixed or growth oriented:
  ”In the fixed mindset, people believe that their talents and abilities are fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that; nothing can be done to change it. Many years of research have now shown that when people adopt the fixed mindset, it can limit their success. They become over-concerned with proving their talents and abilities, hiding deficiencies, and reacting defensively to mistakes or setbacks-because deficiencies and mistakes imply a (permanent) lack of talent or ability. People in this mindset will actually pass up important opportunities to learn and grow if there is a risk of unmasking weaknesses. “
Carol Dweck
We then explored beliefs concerning the role of student effort and it’s impact on student learning. I presented that with a growth mindset, effort multiplies ability.
 
“Study skills and learning skills are inert until they’re powered by an active ingredient.. Students may know how to study, but won’t want to if they believe their efforts are futile. If you target that belief, you can see more benefit than you have any reason to hope for.”

Video from Carol Dweck

From Tapping Student Effort …Increasing Student Achievement  we highlighted how parents could discuss and even have their child rate their effort on various projects or in studying.
On a scale of 1-10 how much effort was extended.
 Consider:
    the amount of time invested,
    the amount of repetition and practice,
    the presence of  perseverance and patience
    the continuation of practice after initial success
Parents also examined their communication skills for engaging children in conversation. They practiced forming open ended questions and confirmatory paraphrases in response to children’s statements or questions.
I am hopeful that the combination of ideas about effort with the communication skills of opened questions and paraphrases leads to some promising family conversations.
Contact me if you’d like a copy in Turkish.
Teachers can find similar training from Performance Learning System’s course Designing Motivation for All Learners.
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Steve Barkley

For the past 30 years, Steve has served as a consultant to school districts, teacher organizations, state departments of education, and colleges and universities nationally and internationally, facilitating the changes necessary for them to reach students and successfully prepare them for the 21st century. Read more…

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