Johnston Opening Minds Chapter 3: Changing Learning Narratives

It is possible to change a particular mindset.


Change and Stability

  • “Turning attention to change rather than stability makes a difference to all kinds of learning (p. 26).”
  • “For us to have agency we have to believe that things are changeable, because if they can’t be changed, taking action is futile (p. 27).”


Stability and the Meaning of Error

  • “The expectation of change is very important, but in order to manage the idea of constant change, children also need to have a sense of stability, a sense of what they can count on (p. 29).”
  • “If their self-worth, rather than being constant, is contingent on whether or not they are successful, then they will not be able to manage change well. So we make it clear that we (and the other students) care for and respect them – even when they are unsuccessful or make less than optimal decisions (p. 28).”


Problem Solving and Casual Process

“However, much of the intellectual process actually takes place inside our heads, and making current mental processes available to ourselves and others requires that we articulate them. Articulating these mental processes is most useful when they are still in process and can be capitalized on for assessment purposes and revised so they are most productive (p. 32).”