Setting Learners Up for Success: Using the science of mindset to maximise learner growth

Date:                    Sunday 25th August

Half Day:              1330-1630

Level:                    Intermediate/Advanced.  Participants should have prior experience in coaching, giving feedback, designing learning experiences and in developing remediation plans.  The workshop is targeted to those individuals who serve as faculty development champions at their institutions or who work with learners-in-difficulty.


  1. Teri L. Turner, Baylor College of Medicine, USA
  2. Charlene Dewey, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, USA
  3. Melissa Carbajal, Baylor College of Medicine, USA
  4. Linessa Zuniga, Baylor College of Medicine, USA
  5. Brian Rissmiller, Baylor College of Medicine, USA
  6. Subha Ramani, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Macy Institute, USA

Summary of theme and why it is important:  Carol Dweck coined the term, growth mindset, to describe a set of beliefs related to the malleability of intelligence.  When teachers truly believe that a learner will succeed (aka the teacher’s mindset), they will teach more material to the learner, call on the learner more often and provide more differential feedback when the learner gets something wrong.  This is called the Pygmalion effect.  This interactive workshop focusses on cultivating a growth mindset in ourselves as teachers as well as in our learners.  It is about unlocking human potential and viewing failure not as an endpoint but as an opportunity for growth.   Growth mindset has been successfully implemented in primary and secondary education demonstrating decreased levels of learned helplessness, renewed effort by the growth minded students in response to constructive criticism, decrease in maladaptive behaviours, and narrowing the effect of poverty on academic achievement.  Growth mindset is essential to building grit and resilience which are also protective factors for burnout.  We will apply the science of mindset to instructional methods, assessment and feedback. The neurobiology of learning will be leveraged to discuss instructional methods that can be used to promote desirable difficulties which makes something harder to learn initially but easier to recall and apply at a later time.  The key message is that cognitive strain is desirable, and failure is essential for success.  Participants will discuss how to use positive error framing and social-belonging interventions to enhance learner metacognition and self-efficacy.  A developmental approach to learner assessment and ongoing formative feedback will ensure that learner abilities develop over time.  This feedback needs to exist in a culture and learning environment of psychological safety.  Ramani et al. have identified tips on how to promote a feedback culture with a growth mind-set.  Participants will practice using growth minded language to enhance internal motivation among learners.  All of these techniques will be incorporated into a framework of coaching for growth using the R2C2 evidence-informed facilitated feedback model (Sargeant et al).  Finally, participants will reflect on their own mindset, challenge their assumptions regarding the traditional definitions of success and failure and develop strategies to design a learning culture which de-emphasizes a fixed mindset.  Participants will leave with strategies to balance support and challenge for their learners, be a positive catalyst in the lives of learners, showcase their own growth mindset, demonstrate feedback seeking and acceptance from learners, reflect on how they handle ‘failures’ as teachers, in their quest for ongoing growth.
Who should participate in the Pre-Conference Workshop?  The workshop is designed for both individuals who work with trainees-in-difficulty and those educators responsible for faculty development at their home institutions.  Skills learned can be applied to all health care professions at all levels of training. 

What will they gain from participating?  Participants will gain skills in:

  • Identifying growth versus fixed mindsets
  • Positive error framing through reflection-on-action and feedback focused on effort, process, strategy, commitment and resourcefulness
  • Coaching for growth using the R2C2 evidence-informed facilitated feedback model
  • Developing educational tasks that promote “desirable difficulties” which improve long term performance

Participants will leave with a toolkit of skills and resources to work with and/or share with other team members to promote the growth of trainees.

Cost: Euros 90 (includes coffee)

PLEASE NOTE: Pre-conference Workshop participants must also register for AMEE 2019 and pay the conference fee.


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