What if?

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What if?
Building a Growth
Culture through
Curiosity
Innovative)Approaches) to)Goal2Setting
What’s the school
challenge that’s keeping
you up at night?
Write)your)response)on)the)blank)side)
of)the)index)card)at)your)seat
Why is a growth mindset important
at all levels of an institution?
What)does)it)look)like.).).)for)girls?)for)
teachers?)for)administrators?)for)parents?)
for)trustees?
Who are we and why do we care about this?
Rebekah)Wolman)
Katherine)Delmar)Burke)School,)San)Francisco,)CA
Ilana Pergam
The)Chapin)School,)New)York,)NY
Meredith)Monk)Ford
FolioCollaborative,) Baltimore,)MD
How can we engage teachers around
professional goals in a more
meaningful and effective way?
Beautiful Questions
have the power to:
• Shift)our)thinking)
• Challenge)our)perspective
• Help)us)imagine)
• Help)us)problemCsolve
Modeling Growth at All Levels
• Institution)modeling)growth)for)
itself
• Teachers)modeling)their)own)
growth)for)students
• Teachers)using)the)growth)mindset)
with)students
Our%School
Our%Faculty
Our%
Girls
“Curiosity isn’t a quality you
can rely on to last a lifetime,
but a mental muscle that
atrophies without regular
exercise. It’s not a gift but a
habit that parents, schools,
workplaces and individuals
need to nurture if it is to
thrive.”
Curious
by Ian Leslie
Goals as Questions
• How)can)I)change)our)students/parents)perception)about)being)injured)
from)"I)can't)do)anything")to)"I)may)not)be)able)to)do)that,)but)I)can)do..."?)
• How)can)I)help)my)students)become) more)independent)and)selfCdirected)
learners?
• How)can)I)encourage)my)students)to)let)go)of)their)perfectionism)and)fear)of)
taking)risks)in)order)to)discover)the)value)in)making)mistakes?
• How)can)my)written)comments) on)student)essays)direct)students)to)reC
engage)with)their)writing?
A review of program is not an indictment of
teachers and their practice, but a chance to:
● ask)questions
● assess)our)efficacy)with)and)effect)on)girls
● describe)what’s)working)
● identify)opportunities)for)growth
Questions Welcome!
● How)can)our)math)program)cultivate)mathematicians) and)
mathematical)thinkers?
● What)mathematical)skills)and)attitudes)would)we)want)our)
graduating)mathematicians) to)possess?
● How)can)we)tell)if)a)math)classroom)is)inquiry)driven?
● Should)speed)and)accuracy)in)computation)continue)to)be)
priorities?
● What)is)gained)and)what)is)lost)in)a)tracked)program?)in)an)
untracked)program?)Are)the)answers)different)at)different)ages?
How do questions change the way teachers
feel about setting goals?
“made)it)more)playful.).).took)the)edge)off”
“Someone)could)say,)‘I)can’t)take)on)another)thing,’)but)
someone)is)not)likely)to)say)‘nothing’)in)response)to)
the)question)‘What)are)you)curious)about?’’’
Using questions to support students’
growth/learning
How)can)you)get)from)“I’m)sorry.)It)isn’t)me.)I)promise)I’ll)
never)do)it)again”)to)understanding)and)real)change?
Problem: I)don’t)go)to)my)teachers)for)help)when)I)need)it,)so)I)
procrastinated,) which)led)to)panicking)and)poor)decisions.
Emma’s Five Whys
Why? I)don’t)go)for)help)because)I)think)the)teachers)will)think)that)I)should)
know)what)I)am)asking
Why? Because)other)students)seem)to)understand)the)material)so)I)should
Why? It)can)be)hard)for)me)not)to)compare)myself)to)other)girls.)).).)but)I)
need)more)support
Why?)It)is)harder)for)me)to)comprehend)what)the)teacher)is)saying
Why? I)get)easily)distracted
Four Months Later. . .
“Each)of)the)5)Whys)is)almost)like)a)little)problem)
to)solve.).).)it)makes)life)a)lot)better)when)you)
really)understand.”
Beautiful Questions
have the power to:
• Shift)our)thinking)
• Challenge)our)perspective
• Help)us)imagine)
• Help)us)problemCsolve
Question
Storming
Activity
Use)the)challenge)on)your)
index)card)to)test)the)
power)of)questions
“I try to set aside my fear long enough
to start asking questions. The
questions do two things; they distract
me from the queasy feeling, and I learn
something about what I’m worried
about.”
A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life
by Brian Grazer
First reframe your challenge as a “Why?”
question
WHY)helps)you)to)investigate) why)the)problem)exists
For)Example:
•
Why)are)our)faculty)afraid)of)evaluation?
•
I)wonder: why)do)our girls)say)they)are)bad)at)math?
•
I’m)curious: why)do)we)avoid)difficult)conversations)about)
race)in)the)classroom?
•
Why)are)we)afraid)to)add)pants)to)our)uniform?
Next ask “What if?” questions
WHAT)IF)helps)you)to)open)up)new)possibilities)from)a)
hypothetical)standpoint.))It’s)about)INNOVATION!
• What)if)we)tried...?
• What)if)we)asked...?
• What)if)we)had...?
• What)if)we)made...?
• What)if)we)created...?
Finally ask “How?” questions
HOW)helps)you)to)put)your)ideas)into)action
• How)might)we...?
• How)could)we...?
• How)should)we...?
• How)would)we...?
The point, after all, is not to
question endlessly - but to use
questions as a means of steadily
advancing toward an answer.
- Warren Berger
Lessons Learned about asking questions
Importance of continual attention to growth mindset - this isn’t “one and done”
Questions are ongoing and may take more than a year to address
Should be meaningful, big questions that engage the goal-setter
Value of open-ended questions:
How might. . . ?
What if. . .?
Ask “Why?”. . .then ask “What if?”. . . then ask “How?”
Ask “Why?” Ask “Why?” again. Ask “Why?” again. Ask “Why?” again. Ask
Powerful questioning techniques
Why?
What if?
How?
Question Formulation Technique
Five Whys
An obstacle to students asking
questions: “Being afraid to ask the
wrong question.”
- The Right Question Institute
“Children enter school
as question marks...and
they leave as periods.”
- Neil Postman
How can our schools evolve as
institutions if all of us are not
growth-oriented?
How do we encourage faculty and students
to embrace growth?
Building a culture of ongoing conversation vs. periodic evaluation
Embracing questions to shift power dynamic
Parallels culture of formative assessment, reflection and student goal-setting
in classroom
Building a culture of inquiry -- modeling inquiry vs. answers
Shifting the focus in goal-setting from results to process, from answers to
questions
Fixed Mindset
Feedback%can%shut%you%down
Stretch%goals%can%make%you%feel%
like%a%failure
Motivation%comes%from%approval%
(as%opposed%to%intrinsic%
motivation)
Focused%on%accomplishment%
instead%of%the%learning%process%
hinders%performance%
Put%stock%in%how%others%are%doing%
in%comparison%to%us
Growth Mindset
Feedback%is%a%chance%to%learn%
and%grow
Stretch%goals%are%opportunities%to%
improve
Motivation%comes%from%putting%in%
the%time%to%master%something,%
it’s%a%learning%process
Effort%is%the%path%to%success
Learn%from%others’%success,%don’t%
be%jealous%of%it

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