A Two Year Old's Mindset

Look at how early childhood centers can preserve the innate mindset of a toddler - the foundation for college and a lifetime of learning?

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I clocked thousands of hours in the classroom, but over the past few years, the education I have been getting from my grandchildren has been an eye-opener.  It’s also a challenge.  After all, I’m an adult and a teacher, so shouldn’t I be showing them what to do?

Well, actually they are teaching me that they have what they need to succeed, and my job is to be sure that I do whatever it takes to sustain those traits.  I must not de-rail them from continuing forward on their mission.

It is apparent to me that at birth a child has an inborn desire to achieve, to learn, to be social and to share. They are born with a trillion dollar mindset, (just trying to make a point here – their mindset is priceless!!).  If we could ask them if they were ready for college,  they would look at us with a face that conveyed, “No problem, let me at it!” 

My music teaching experiences included “Parent-Toddler” summer programs (for ages birth-4).  I experienced teaching children who would look at difficult music challenges and see themselves succeeding.  Failure was not part of their thinking.  I once played a melody on a xylophone for a 3 year old and then asked, “Do you want to learn to play that?”  Without skipping a beat the child grabbed the mallet from me and said,  “I can do that!”   That comment became the inspiration for the next twenty five years of my career, to learn how to ensure that learners sustain that mindset. 

During their early years children learn with innate character traits that we want them to possess when they are older – confidence, creativity, resilience, and perseverance.  These traits are easily lost if not nurtured.

What might we expect from children who are in their teens, contemplating and preparing for college, if in their early ages they were afforded the opportunity to hone the character traits they were born with. What if they were taught to expect obstacles? What if they could do so with a sense of agency and self-efficacy, a confidence that they have what it takes to get past those obstacles and achieve?

Can more be done during the formative years to nurture these character traits and develop a strong foundation mindset for a lifetime of learning?

We live in a time where many young children are brought to day care centers.  What if, at these centers, more emphasis could be put on building a strong foundation for a child’s  “I can” mindset”?

I was inspired reading about places like the Friend’s School in Boulder, Colorado and their teacher preparation program,


and by learning about mindset from author, Carol Dweck, Ph.D (Mindset; The New Psychology of Success- 2006). 

Early-childhood centers are also a place that could model for parents how they could continue nurturing a positive mindset for learning at home.

I look forward to other thoughts, and to how this could help more children prepare for a lifetime of learning.

[Optional] Synthesize a little! In one sentence, describe what you learned from your empathy exercises or analogous research. (Ex: Good advisors make a difference.)

What can early childhood centers do to nurture the learner character traits and mindset that provide children with the foundation they need to get to and complete college successfully?

This inspired (1)

Peer 2 Peer Mentorship


Join the conversation:

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MASH-UP INVITE  Michael Schurr Margaret Powers Cynthia Charles Edwin Lagos Ela Ben-Ur 
I'm looking to team up for the Ideation Phase to address the key theme suggested by the Guild Team:  Develop College-Success Character Traits.  Interested?  If so, let's plan a 1hr brainstorming session.  Does this Saturday morning, Feb 13th @9am EST or Monday the 15th at 7:30pm EST work via Skype or GHO?  My email: teachic@optonline.net  Suggestions welcomed.

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I would LOVE to, however, it is my sons first birthday party this weekend and Saturday morning will be crazy for me. Happy to connect at another time or get caught up from the call.



Photo of Ela Ben-Ur

Thanks so much for proposing this, and for including me! I'd likewise LOVE to join you all.  I should be able to do Saturday morning; I'll be on a plane Mon evening.  

Photo of Edwin Lagos

Saturday would probably work best for me. I'll try to join. Skype or google hangout?

Photo of Angelo Truglio

So pleased you are interested Ela Ben-Ur . I hadn't the chance to reply to your comments, sorry, but we are thinking so very much alike when you say, "Young children... are huge inspirations for my work because they naturally observe, imagine, and experiment. We just help them name those activities, recognize the value of them, and continue to hold a place for them in their heads, hearts, and ways of going about things."  YES!!
I will be posting an Idea today that we can begin with and I am looking forward to speaking Sat. morn.  You will find me on Skype as atruglio57.

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Great!!  Edwin Lagos You can find me on Skype as atruglio57  I will post an IDEA today as a starting point for us.  Looking forward to speaking!

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Thank you Antonio! I've been teaching then in transit today (to Toronto), but will take a look at your idea (thank you for that!) and see you on Skype from Toronto tomorrow!

Photo of Ela Ben-Ur

I am i2iexperience on Skype, elabenur@gmail.com for Hangouts, or ela@olin.edu. 

Photo of Margaret Powers

Hi Angelo Truglio - Yes! I would love to help with the mash-up! Unfortunately, I've been sick the past few days so I'm just catching up on Guild posts now. Do you have a Google Doc where you're working on this idea? 

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Margaret Powers Great!! and yes I started a G Doc.  Send an email, I'll get it to you.  I'm at teachic@optonline.net

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