Showcase of Growth Mindset & Habits of Mind at West LA College

Colleagues from across Southern California brought the sunshine back to Los Angeles through a Showcase of Growth Mindset and Habits of Mind at West LA College.  Miguel Powers, Scott Sandler, and Hetty Yelland provided context as well as thought-provoking activities while Jan Connal meaningfully interacted with participants.  We were also excited that Kim Manner dropped by! 

Highlights of the morning included a reading of Wendell Berry’s “The Real Work” tied to Habits of Mind,  a spoon and cotton ball activity designed to illustrate the development of neural pathways and to underscore equity issues in our classroom and across campus, and a Habits of Mind nesting activity to help educators align best practices and learning outcomes, as well as to focus on the habits of mind that we must tend to in order to help students persist.  One participant remarked, “I am so used to being in a position of power and control; [in this exercise], I had to open myself up and be vulnerable.” 

The day concluded with a showcase of Habits of Mind and Growth Mindset at Gavilan, Hartnell, and Fullerton Colleges and metacognitive  “productive play” activity designed to practice Habits of Mind.     

View the presentations

Key takeaways were:

  • Sometimes what we think of as our strength may be our weakness
  • The popular phrase “Working smarter, not harder” is apt
  • It’s okay to admit that we don’t know how to do something, let go and let someone else take the lead
  • We must create safe spaces in order to foster risk-taking 
  • We need to change our mindset and think of how we can do things differently


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