Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Pursuing a Mathematical Mindset ...Parent evening at CPDS



Last Thursday night a hardy group of CPDS parents braved the unpleasant weather to participate in an evening discussing 'How Mindsets Affect Learning and Dispositions in the 21st Century'. We were joined by presenters Fiona Fox and John Peachey, both of whom spoke about the changing face of education, and what this means for how learning is delivered in classrooms and homes. 
Fiona focused on maths, discussing with the parents how our historical emphasis on rote learning and speedy recall has resulted in many students ( and adults) developing extremely negative views about maths and their capacity to have success. This has encouraged the belief that only some people can be 'good' at maths. She described how CPDS is trying to change this negative mindset by teaching students to collaborate, think conceptually and to see the value of mistakes. New information from neuroscientists shows that every time you learn something a new pathway forms in the brain...the more times you strengthen it...the better it gets! Fiona explained that we're not born with those pathways, and recent scientific evidence argues that no-one is born with a 'maths brain'. Acknowledging and then striving to learn from your mistakes is what's valuable, because when your brain is really struggling is when your brain is doing the most growing!
John Peachey took a broader approach, focusing on how the CPDS learner dispositions linked closely with the behaviours and attitudes looked for by 21st century employers. He encouraged the parents to embrace the idea that their children must struggle and sometimes fail. As John said, failure is not the opposite of success, instead it is an integral component of improving achievement.
So a huge '3 cheers' for those parents and staff who turned up, in spite of the weather, for this informative and thought provoking evening. Also a huge THANKS to John and Fiona for sharing their expertise with us all. Lots of positive feedback from your audience :)

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