Preschoolers Grow Their Brains:Shifting Mindsets for Greater Resiliency and Better Problem Solving

Preschoolers Grow Their Brains:Shifting Mindsets for Shifting Mindsets and Better Problem Solving

images (12)Shelby Pawlina
and Christie Stanford

Challenges,mistakes,and problems are inherent everyday in learning activities and social interactions.How children think about and respond to those difficult situations has an impact on how they see themselves as being able to shape their own learning and on how they handle the next problem that comes their way (Hall & Pearson 2003),Building resilience means fostering children’s sense of agency (the knowledge that they are in control of their actions)and self-efficacy(the belief that they are competent and capable)and developing a framework for approaching problems.By supporting children’s developing sense of agency and self-efficacy,teachers give children confidence in their ideas,their understanding of challenges,and what they do to work with those challenges.As teachers of young children,we use our words as powerful tools for developing these skills (Cimpian,Markman,& Dweck 2007).Noticing and commenting on effort rather than ability makes a world of difference in a child’s sense of agency:
“Wow!You have been working on riding the like-a-bike(pedalless bike)every day this week.Do you remember
how last week you could only use your tiptoes and walk the bike around the path?Now you can get up speed and
glide sometimes!When we practice something, we get better at it and it feels good inside.”

Preschoolers Grow Their Brains:Shifting Mindsets for Greater Resiliency and Better Problem Solving

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