Growth Mindset

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Projected Time

About 60 minutes

  • 20 minutes for Materials & Lesson

  • 10 minutes for the Learning Style Quiz

  • 15 minutes for group activity

  • 10 minutes for "Check for Understanding"


Learning styles represented

  • See (videos and slides)

  • Hear (videos and class discussion)

  • Write (journal prompt to check for understanding)

  • Do (take 1 quiz)


CodeYourFuture is an intensive learning program whose format puts emphasis on participant-led learning, unlike a traditional classroom setting that emphasizes instructor-led learning. It's important that participants understand some common limiting beliefs about learning, and work to free themselves of these beliefs to be more successful at CYF. The tech industry is all about learning. When you open your mind to learn it gives you the freedom to work wherever you want because you learned the skills to get there! Companies like Google use the growth mindset to help their employees learn more and create cool products every day!


Participants will understand:

  • Their own learning style(s)

  • How to fix new information in their minds

  • What the Growth Mindset is and how to practice it

Specific Knowledge Areas

  • The 4 learning styles: Auditory, Visual, Tactile, Writing

  • What is academic/growth mindset

  • How to fix information

  • Effective learning habits



Learning Styles

Learning Styles: (15 mins for session -go through each style; ask for questions, comments before moving on to next style of learning)

  • Most people use a combination of learning styles (e.g Seeing, Listening, Touching, Taking notes).

  • Visual learning involves the use of infographics, cartoons and illustrations, gifs, videos, artwork, pictures and diagrams - anything that mainly stimulates your eyes.

    • You can use techniques when studying by color coding information, using different fonts and labelling important points with stickers/stamps/emojis

  • Auditory learning is what we listen to.

    • During our online classes this is key for you. So having a working microphone and internet connection are important. Group discussions/ study groups are also part of auditory learning.

  • Kinaesthetic learning gets you to be active.

    • It is a combination of other types of learning like seeing hearing and doing. The act of writing code is part of kinaesthetic learning. Going forward we will ask you to create videos, vlogs, and use online tools to support this type of learning.

  • We are most familiar with reading and writing as ways to learn.

    • One of the reasons we check your English level is because a lot of learning is based on your ability to read and write to a good level. This is important when you are learning a new concept you need to understand what is being expressed. When you write code even small spelling errors can make your life difficult when looking for errors!

    • We communicate a lot by writing on Slack so we have to make sure people can understand what we are saying. This week we have reading/writing assignments for you to complete. Please let us know if these are challenging for you so we can organise support.

Recap quiz on Learning Styles

Further Points

  • Keep track during the day of the sessions that appeal to your learning style(s)

  • Be mindful that you are helping others learn as well when you participate in a discussion/study group/ pair programming/ team project etc.


Watch video on Growth Mindset (6 mins) :

  • As you are going through the video stop and ask questions. Check that people are understanding.

Group Activity Personal discussion (15 mins)

In small groups: Discuss a time when you overcame a struggle in learning and learned to solve a problem. As a facilitator, share a personal story about a time you had to work hard to get better at some- thing and relate it to the video. In this story, highlight:

  1. Hard work

  2. Strategies

  3. Help From Others

Here’s an example below of a personal story to share:

When I was in school, I remember struggling with adding negative numbers. I had a hard time figuring out what a ‘negative’ even meant when talking about a number - how can you have less than nothing? I ended up going through many practice problems and continuing to get many of them wrong. I was a very shy kid, so I didn’t ask my teacher many questions. My thought was that I had reached ‘the peak’ of my maths talent, and it was all downhill from here. I eventually asked my mom about this topic and she explained to me the basic concept of negative numbers. This helped me understand it a little, but it was still fuzzy to me. I then researched online for some real-life contexts to show what these mysterious numbers represented outside of some abstract universe. Some of them made sense, and others didn’t. I still didn’t entirely get it and I was so frustrated that I wanted to just give up (or continue hoping that negative numbers were not going to appear in math class ever again). I started to dislike math simply because I couldn’t understand it anymore. Instead of entirely giving up on my academic career, I eventually mustered up the courage to ask my teacher for help as well. She explained it in a few different ways, and gave me new strategies to try out. After some practice with these new strategies, I started to solidify my understanding of negatives which allowed me to quickly pick up basic algebra afterwards. While it was a lot of work and I wanted to give up at many points during my journey, I eventually was able to ‘rewire’ my brain so that negative numbers actually made sense to me.

In a small group, ask students to share a story about a time that they made their brains smarter.

This leads to a discussion about how working hard, taking on challenges, and find- ing the right strategy can make people smarter.

Check for Understanding (10 minute)

Participants write a self-reflective journal entry covering:

  1. What they learned about themselves

  2. What from this lesson they felt challenged by

  3. What from this lesson they want to learn more about

  4. What from this lesson they want to practice


Learning Styles - Notes

  • ‘I only have one learning style.’

    • Most people make use of several learning styles. Sometimes they rely heavily on one over others.

  • ‘If i just put my head down and work hard I will learn what I need to know.’

    • Knowing where and when to put your energy will make your learning more effective and hopefully enjoyable.

Group Activity Personal Discussion - Notes

Common Mistakes / Misconceptions to highlight

  • "I'm not good at learning new things because I didn't get good grades in school." Ability to learn and grades earned in school are not strongly correlated. Grades reflect other things in addition to learning (persistence, ability to obtain help, ability to spend time on assignments, support at home, etc.)

  • "As long as I have a growth mindset, learning new things will be easy." A growth mindset allows you to be kinder to and more patient with yourself when learning new things. Learning new things is often quite challenging, regardless of your mindset.

    • Fixing Information in your mind:

      • Understanding that something is important is not enough on its own.

      • Hands-on practice truly helps you to grasp the concepts, it helps you to automate the knowledge which you've acquired.

      • Take breaks while learning or studying to alternate between focused and diffused mode.

      • Test yourself during the studying process by looking away and trying to recall what you just studied.

      • Revisit topics that you've learned so far, repetition helps fix the material in your mind.

    • Effective Learning techniques:

      • Use different techniques to activate different ways of learning remember VARK (visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic)

      • Active learning is more effective than passive learning

    • Passive learning: reading about something, watching a video, listening to a lecture

    • Active learning: completing exercises, code-along (typing the same thing as in a video), making notes in a lesson, drawing a diagram,

  • Don't cram all of your studying into 1 day, it's less effective

    • Try to spread it out over multiple days

    • When studying try switching between different topics (e.g. review this week's class, then last week's exercises)

  • Make notes and review them during the week

    • Use your notes to draw diagrams that explain concepts

    • Try making flash cards: a question one side, the answer on the other

  • Explain how and why something works to yourself or to a friend

    • Try to think of real-life examples

  • Get enough sleep

    • Your ability to think drops by 25% for each 24 hours you’re awake

    • Make a to do list and prioritise what you need to do first (not just things to study!)

  • Don't try to multitask when studying

    • Turn off distractions and focus

    • Use the Pomodoro Method you learned about in the Coursera Learning How to Learn course. Set a timer for 20-25 mins, work for that time and then give yourself a 5-10 min break. Then reset the timer and go for another cycle. Repeat until you have finished your task.

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