What is learning disposition?
A compelling body of research has shown that helping young people to respond positively to challenge and struggle is critical to how they learn and what they learn—in school and throughout their lives. Whether in the classroom or outside of it, engaging with a new community online, or developing a new skill, young people must have the capacity to understand failure and adversity as natural parts of the learning process. Informed by research in the field, Noah Rachlin is leading an effort to help students and teachers see mistakes not as impenetrable roadblocks but as natural parts of the learning process. Rachlin has defined this practice as “learning disposition,” which he breaks into four key concepts: mindset (“I believe it is possible to improve”); motivation (“I want to improve”); deliberate practice (“I’m going to work at the upper limits of my ability to improve.”); and focus (“I will commit myself to this work over time”). He believes that these components are essential to any kind of learning encounter and can serve young people in powerful ways, enabling them to become agents in their own learning.