Believing in Students is the First Step Towards Empowerment
Nothing empowers students quite like knowing their teachers believe in them. Research shows educators' expectations powerfully shape student performance, both positively and negatively. At Edapt, we believe believing in students' abilities and potential is the first step towards empowering learners and unlocking their potential.
Our vision is to provide teachers with tools that communicate high expectations and belief in each student's capabilities. Our Learner Profile enables this in three practical ways:
Fostering Intrinsic Motivation
Timmy*, a struggling 6th grader, loved basketball but felt "dumb". After capturing his interests in "About Me", his mentor suggested a self-reflection goal focused on skills from the court that could help in the classroom. Timmy tracked progress towards goals like effort and perseverance, boosting self-efficacy and motivation that spilled over into his schoolwork.
Give students agency over "About Me" and goals highlighting strengths instead of deficits. Tie goals to students' passions to foster intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy.
Sparking a Growth Mindset
Learner Profile reflections guided Maria*, a struggling 8th grader, to develop strategies for improvement. She began recording herself reading aloud to track fluency gains, practising "grit" as a skill. As Maria gained insight into herself as a learner and internalized the belief that intelligence is not fixed, her performance in English soared.
Prompt regular reflections focused on progress, strategies and mindset. Empower students to identify and "grow" their own strengths as learners.
Modeling High Expectations
When mentors provide students like Sam* structured yet customizable goals based on curriculum outcomes, they demonstrate confidence in students' abilities to achieve at high levels. Sam internalized this belief, striving for and ultimately attaining ambitious yet achievable goals that transformed his trajectory.
Start by providing students structured goal options within your school's parameters. As students gain experience setting measurable goals, gradually release the "reins" and trust them to take the driver's seat.
Technology alone cannot empower learners; mentors must model and foster a growth mindset rooted in seeing each student as capable and worthy of success. Together, we can transform students' trajectories by simply believing in them.