To foster a Growth Mindset approach in our classrooms, we need to reward academic honesty. A Fixed Mindset approach can lead to cheating and other desperate coping strategies. We need to create learning opportunities where it is safe to not know. Through our passionate commitment in the classroom and our belief that our students can do better, we build their sense of self-worth and diminish their need to merely get good marks at any cost.
But we need to interrogate our teaching and learning to ensure that what we are doing promotes growth and academic honesty.
- Do we set tasks and assignments that are of a pass/fail nature? (Fixed Mindset)
- Or do we see all tasks and assignments as part of a process, an opportunity for students to refine their skills and deal constructively with their weaknesses? (Growth Mindset)
- Do we accept copy/paste answers as being acceptable? or
- Do we guide our members to read, understand and summarise before writing their answers?
- Do we set up assignments that only require ready-made answers? or
- Do we require creative, critical and thoughtful assignments that cannot be answered with a simple copy/paste?
When you set an assignment, require thoughtful engagement with the topic leading to debate, discussion and nuanced views. Explore various perspectives.
- Online research should require finding various viewpoints.
- Tasks should require more than a cut/paste answer - require some thinking (eg an opinion with evidence).
- Use templates in Google Classroom that can provide a framework for different viewpoints, eg an essay structure with points for and points against. Use heading levels to create the structure.
- Require a bibliography that has more than one source. Use EasyBib to generate a bibliography.
- Make use of the rubric and make sure that you score the assignment for originality and creativity.
- Use the “Check plagiarism” setting; encourage students to do their own checking before handing in.