Agenda: The Hidden Value of Motivation

New Lens on Learning: The Hidden Value of Motivation, Grit and Engagement

Wednesday, November 11

8:00–9:00 a.m.

Welcoming Remarks
9:00–9:30 a.m.

  • Tricia Raikes, co-founder, The Raikes Foundation
  • Zoë Stemm-Calderon, education director, The Raikes Foundation

Why Motivation and Deeper Learning Matter
9:30–10:30 a.m.

How do you create a good student? How do schools find ways for children to take criticism well, respond to feedback, and learn from mistakes? How does a child’s motivation and sense of self factor into a culture of learning? While schools are finding answers to these questions, there is no shortcut to creating classroom practices — and embracing a “growth mindset” is no panacea. So how can schools adapt the concepts that research shows go a long way toward improving student learning?

  • Camille Farrington, professor, University of Chicago
    Tweet@CamilleFarring |
  • David Yeager, professor, University of Texas at Austin
    Tweet@UTPopCenter (Organization) |
  • Katrina Schwartz, reporter, KQED and MindShift (moderator)

How to Motivate Students — or Not 
10:45–11:30 a.m.

Carol Dweck, a distinguished professor and the scholar most associated with the now-widespread concept of “growth mindset,” talks about new studies on the impact the idea has had in education. How should a student learn from failure? If you tell students that the brain can be trained, will they feel encouraged to put in additional effort? And is feeling motivated even enough — what interventions are necessary when a student tries her best but isn’t comprehending the material? In answering these questions, Dweck will describe new lines of work on how a growth mindset is (and is not) communicated to students.

  • Carol Dweck, professor, Stanford University
    Tweet@Stanford (Organization) |

Can School Reform Produce Deeper Learning?​
11:45–12:30 p.m.

With virtually everything online and a click away, what does it mean to be knowledgeable? Economists predict that many jobs — even those requiring a college degree — will soon be automated. As a result, educators today are looking for ways to arm their students with the academic tools to keep up in a labor market where using what one knows is of greater value than simply “knowing.” Linda Darling-Hammond, one of the nation’s most noted thinkers on education policy, will describe the role deeper learning plays in preparing students for the workforce and enhancing educational equity, as well as the barriers to making it a reality, especially for disadvantaged populations.

  • Linda Darling-Hammond, president and CEO, Learning Policy Institute, and Professor Emerita, Stanford University
    Tweet@LDH_ed |

12:30–1:00 p.m.

Get Schooled: Unlocking the Secrets of the Adolescent Brain 
1:00–1:45 p.m.

Over the past decade research in neuroscience has provided an explosion of new knowledge and insights about the adolescent brain, shedding light on our understanding of teens’ complex neural state. Importantly, the field has focused on the development of neural circuits that underpin social, emotional, and motivational learning and how these systems change at the onset of puberty. These changes create not only vulnerabilities but also opportunities for learning. We’ll hear from Ronald Dahl about these new areas of adolescent brain development—and their implications for education and health.

  • Ronald Dahl, professor, University of California, Berkeley
    Tweet@UCBerkeley (Organization) |

Interventions in the Classroom: What Works, What Doesn’t — A Demonstration
2:00–3:15 p.m.

What does it take to get a kid to care about school? A wave of research is producing quick interventions that motivate students to learn, with hundreds of schools adopting curricular tools designed to boost students’ growth mindsets. How do young learners respond to these efforts to reshape their views about themselves in the context of school? How can educators employ these tricks while teaching core subjects like math or English? We’ll also get a detailed demonstration on the ways in which math can be taught through a growth mindset approach, and the effect these interventions have on addressing equity in the classroom.

  • Jo Boaler, professor, Stanford University
  • Dave Paunesku, professor, Stanford University
  • Evie Blad, reporter, Education Week (moderator)

Student Culture and Learning: What’s the Connection? ​
3:30–4:15 p.m.

How do the social backgrounds of students influence their time at school? Can teaching that’s culturally relevant for the nation’s growing number of non-white students address the achievement gap? Tyrone Howard, who leads the Black Male Institute, will guide a discussion on these questions.

  • Tyrone C. Howard, professor, University of California, Los Angeles
    Tweet@TyroneCHoward |

Evening Reception
4:15–5:45 p.m.

​Screening and Discussion of ‘Most Likely to Succeed’
5:45–8:00 p.m.

Critically well-received at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and recently touted by a columnist at The New York Times, Most Likely to Succeed examines how teachers can fuse content knowledge with concepts like motivation and perseverance. The film is set at High Tech High in San Diego, and follows several students tasked with employing everything they know about history, engineering and politics to complete a months-long project. There’s high drama in seeing whether the students can entwine different disciplines and work with peers to complete their assignments. After the film, the school’s founder and CEO, Larry Rosenstock, will speak about High Tech High and whether deeper learning can take off in other schools.

  • Larry Rosenstock, CEO, High Tech High
    Tweet@hightechhigh (Organization)

Thursday, November 12

Site Visit: Summit Public Schools — K2 in El Cerrito
Depart at 8:00 a.m.

Summit Public Schools has been lauded for being at the forefront of several education reform efforts. The charter school provider’s data systems monitor achievement so that teachers can spot, and address, student weaknesses early on. Summit’s curriculum responds to a student’s skill-level — allowing accelerated learners to keep challenging themselves with content well outside their designated grade levels. What are the steps necessary for a school to weave together the tenets of deeper learning, personalized learning and growth mindsets? What additional resources are required, beyond standard public funding? And is this charter provider a model for other schools?