Dr. Omid Fotuhi – a Research Associate at Stanford University with joint affiliations in the Department of Psychology and the Graduate School of Education – shared key points from his research at Monday morning’s faculty meeting. Topics included growth and fixed mindsets; belonging interventions; the importance of social connections and how these relationships affect behaviors and decisions; effective goal setting; and the impact of negative feedback on an individual. He then spent the rest of the day – as well as Tuesday morning – facilitating small-group discussions among faculty and staff, meeting with MS and US student groups, exploring the student perspectives of the Beaver community, and attending an African-American literature class.
“During my visit, I had the pleasure of observing so many of the sound and effective practices that I often share with schools across the nation in my work as a strategy consultant on effective pedagogy and adaptive mindsets that promote student success. Primarily, it was evident that teachers and administrators at Beaver exhibited the single most important quality that is conducive to promoting an optimal learning environment: they go above and beyond to develop personal and caring relationships with their students that extend beyond the contingency of academic achievement. By establishing a secure and psychologically safe environment, students are free to experiment with novel strategies or risk asking a question without worrying about being negatively judged.” – Omid Fotuhi
Beaver’s collaboration with Dr. Fotuhi began September 2015, and since then, he’s offered advice to several administrators as they explored student engagement and professional development for faculty and staff. He has also provided constructive feedback on programs and activities. To prepare for his visit, faculty and staff listened to and discussed his podcast, Mindsets for Optimal Performance.