Sunday, October 30, 2016

What Mindsets Are You Building in Your School?

There is power in diversity. Diverse teams, thinking and locations. As the world becomes more global, cross-cultural competency will become an important skill for all workers, not just those who have to operate in diverse geographical environments. Organizations increasingly see diversity as a driver of innovation. We know that what makes a group truly intelligent and innovative is the combination of different ages, skills, disciplines, and working and thinking styles that members bring to the table. Global connectivity, smart machines, and new media are just some of the drivers reshaping how we think about work, what constitutes work, and the skills we will need to be productive contributors in the future.
HFA Mindset Model 

Our Holy Family Academy (HFA) mindset model, infused throughout our classes, work-study internship program and projects, seeks to build resiliency, entrepreneurial thinking, problem solving ability, and servant leadership − dispositions shown to be as equally important to technical or specific job related skills.

The HFA mindset model is based on future-ready competencies identified by our work study partners, faculty and literature reviews. As we continue to shift our curricular program from partially project-based to almost entirely project-based, the mindset model will be a guiding compass.

As the Head of School, I look for opportunities to demonstrate our future-ready mindsets to the faculty, staff and our students. Faculty at HFA get generous planning time while students are at work one day a week and on Fridays when they are off campus at one of our seven curricular learning partners. Students have the time to work building these Mindsets not only in their classes and our work study internship program but through our advisory program. Groups of students write WOOP Goals (Character Lab) and assess their understanding and growth of these Mindsets weekly on an APP designed and coded in our student-run game design company, EDGE.

Our work-study program (which allows a private school education as an option to all families as well as providing real-life opportunities to build our Mindsets) is a required part of the HFA experience. All students starting in 9th grade have an internship once a week, the entire school-year. As students identify pathways that match their goals, strengths and post-secondary plans, they reflect in eportfolios and can earn one of 85 digital badges or "micro-credentials" that are endorsed by our work study partners. The Mindsets are not just a banner in our Innovation Center (below) but dispositions that will prepare our students for the future of work and life.

What Mindsets does your school stand for and integrate into your programs?

Students in Integrated Design Lab Discussing our Mindset Model

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