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Is Your Math Program Improving Your School Culture? [rubric]

What to look for in math edtech that positively impacts school culture and growth mindset.

By Grace Gonzalez March 29, 2017

Could technological tools do more than just help students learn content knowledge? 

Nigel Nisbet, Vice President of Content Creation at MIND Research Institute, believes education technology has the capacity to help students (and teachers) develop a growth mindset around math. Last week at the District Administrators Leadership Institute (DALI) Superintendent Summit in Colorado Springs, Colo., Nigel Nisbet explored how math programs can impact school culture.


Building a School Culture that Embraces Growth Mindset

More than a third of Americans say they can't do math, pointing to a fixed mindset about their own capabilities. With a growth mindset, on the other hand, students see themselves capable of learning even difficult material.

In a national survey of 600 K-12 teachers, only 20% reported confidence in being able to help their students develop a growth mindset, despite nearly all (98%) of this surveyed group saying that they think a growth mindset improves their own teaching and helps their students learn.

Teachers have identified developing growth mindset as a need for them and their students. There's a growing body of research and resources around how teachers can embrace teaching habits that develop productive struggle, define and implement mathematical rigor for deep problem solving, help students experience the importance of learning from mistakes, and even address math anxiety in teachers and parents in addition to students. 

Education technology lends itself as a powerful tool for potentially integrating all of these elements into school culture...but not all math programs are designed to maximize this impact.

Math Edtech Evaluation Rubric

How can you tell if the math program your school is using is positively impacting your school culture as well as student content knowledge? Here's a short checklist based on Nigel Nisbet's presentation.

In Highly Effective Learning Software:

  • Students build a deep understanding for how and why the schema works, allowing them to derive the concepts.
  • The learning experience has meangingful social elements, such as collaboration and cooperation.
  • Early mistakes are learning opportunities. Environment guides students away from repeatedly making the same mistakes.

learning software rubric thumbnail.jpg

Download the Learning Software Evaluation Rubric

Deep Learning Culture Spotlight

Whether it's a love for JiJi the penguin or that rewarding "Ah-ha!" moment after struggling through a challenging puzzle, Spatial-Temporal (ST) Math® students show a higher level of engagement and enthusiasm for math. 

ST Math challenges students in a way that produces intrinsic motivation. The positive experience of persevering through tantalizingly tricky puzzles develops an internal conditioned response to tackle the next problem with energy and enthusiasm. Here's what educators have to say about ST Math helping students embrace a growth mindset.

Learn More About ST Math

Grace Gonzalez is Manager of Education Engagement at MIND Research Institute. She is passionate about inbound marketing and advocates quality education, which she often talks about on twitter @GraceG_MIND.

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