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Using Mindprint for Self-Awareness


Social-Emotional Learning All Ages Strategy

Using Mindprint for Self-Awareness

If your student has a Mindprint profile and you want to strengthen self-awareness

Teacher Prep: Strengths, Needs & Self-awareness

  1. Self-awareness is considered to be the most important skill you can teach students for both academic and lifetime success. Understanding a student's strengths and needs on the Mindprint skills will support the development of student self-awareness in and out of the classroom.
  2. Every student has a unique combination of academic, personal, and cognitive strengths and needs. Keep in mind that because a student is strong in one area or skill does not tell you very much about their other strengths and needs in other skills; research shows there is a moderate to weak correlation between skills.
  3. Academic, personal and cognitive skills are all critical to learning. Historically schools have focused on academic skills (understandably) but research shows that personal skills often are equally important to lifetime achievement.
  4. Cognitive or Mindprint skills actually drive both academic and personal skills. Understanding strengths or needs in Mindprint skills can be critical to understanding why a student is struggling academically or why the student might be misbehaving, appear unmotivated, or feel anxious.
  5. Since all of these skills are important to lifetime success, and every student has relative strengths and needs across these three areas, it is very important for all students to understand the importance of all these skills and develop self-awareness of their own unique combination of strengths and needs.
  6. Research shows that most students are not naturally self-aware but they can be taught how to be self-aware by developing metacognition. For example, stronger students tend to underestimate their mastery and over-study, which can lead to excessive stress or anxiety. Low performing students tend to over-estimate their mastery which is why they might not study enough or study the wrong things.
  7. Self-awareness, or metacognitive thinking, is nurtured through adult coaching and support with ongoing, objective feedback. Self-awareness is important not only in academic learning but for all of life's experiences.

Class Discussion: Self-awareness Discussion Points

  1. Understanding how you learn best will help you more than anything else in school and beyond.
  2. Everyone has strengths. Even if you struggle with a skill or subject, you can still be successful. You might simply need to step back and find a new strategy. It's important that you discover what your strengths are and learn how to use them effectively.
  3. Everyone has areas of need, even straight A students. No one is strong in every skill. Don't expect to be perfect or for everything to be easy. It is important that you acknowledge the more challenging areas so you can ask for help to grow and improve.
  4. Once you understand and accept your strengths and needs, you can often use your stronger skills to help you succeed. Since everyone has strengths and needs, everyone will encounter struggles. That is why it is so important that you understand and accept where you might have challenges, have a willingness to work hard and keep a positive mindset .
  5. Try to force yourself to focus not just on the outcome (e.g. your grade) but also on why you did well or not, you are more likely to keep improving over time. Conversely, if you just focus on the outcome, you are less likely to learn from your mistakes, grow, and improve.
  6. Most students struggle to find the right balance of what to study and how much. You don't want to study too little, but you also don't want to over-study. It is important to learn to recognize when you need to work harder or longer, and when you can feel confident in your knowledge and mastery.

Class Discussion: What Is Mindprint

  1. Mindprint helps you understand how your brain works best. The skills you use to understand, solve problems, remember, plan, and focus. These skills are important in the classroom, playing sports, or at home doing your homework. They affect how you interact with your friends and might help you understand what careers you might like best.
  2. You can use your awareness of your Mindprint (or cognitive) skills to help you learn more easily. You are likely to discover that the study strategies that work best for your friend are not the right ones for you, and vice versa. The key to learning is using the right strategies for you when you need them.
  3. Once you discover your strengths, use them to make work easier and more enjoyable. They also might influence your choice of college major or career.

Class Activity: Your Mindprint Skills

  1. Using this table of Mindprint Skills, introduce the 10 core cognitive skills and give examples, either from the table or your own experiences, of how students use these skills in learning.
  2. Encourage students to share their own examples of how/when they use the skills in school, during homework, during extra-curriculars, etc.
  3. As you introduce and discuss, hang up and create a poster for each skill so students can see the difference between skills. Write down or draw pictures of all the examples of how these skills are used in learning.
  4. Let students know that you will be meeting with them individually to discuss their own unique combination of skills that will tell them how they learn best and what strategies will help make learning easier, faster and more enjoyable. Use this step-by-step strategy for points on how to share the Learner Profile with your students.