The purpose of this unit is for students to reflect on their thought process when it comes to making choices and facing challenges. Students will practice critical thinking skills, determine if they use a growth or a fixed mindset, discuss choices and consequences, and discover their preferred mindfulness strategy.
Critical thinking is an important 21st-century skill that involves analyzing information in various ways: comparing/contrasting, making connections, solving problems, applying knowledge in new ways, questioning, and more. These skills can be used in school, but critical thinking can also help us use our freedom to choose (agency) wisely. Carefully considering our choices can help us avoid negative consequences.
When we analyze our own thinking, we can discover patterns of thoughts that affect our attitudes and behaviors. According to Carol Dwek, a fixed mindset is believing that our qualities are carved in stone and cannot change, whereas a growth mindset is the belief that our basic qualities are things we cultivate and grow through our efforts, strategies, and help from others. A growth mindset focuses on the positive belief that hard work and a desire to stretch our personality, ability, and talent will result in marked improvement.
Mindfulness is a habit of thought that helps us enjoy and appreciate the present moment. Activities such as meditation, exploring in nature, and concentrated breathing can help us calm our minds and improve our resilience.