Best Practices in Character Coaching Align with CBT Principles

Importance of Proper "Mindset" is Key to Character Development


Best practices in character coaching align with "mindset interventions" which incorporate principles of widely accepted, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approaches and positive psychology including motivational intervention.

 In a paper published by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2014), Carol Dweck, PhD presents a comprehensive review of "mindsets and skills that promote long-term learning".  She details a wide range of methods and strategies pointing to the value of mindset interventions, social belonging, value affirmation, identity, self relevance interventions, teaching self-regulation, and integrating curricula with practices that promote academic tenacity.  

Dr. Dweck addresses "mindset interventions" specifically in reporting that, "...a critical aspect of academic tenacity is the ability to rise above immediate concerns and respond to academic setbacks with resilience. Students who endorse a fixed mindset about intelligence tend to be overly focused on short-term concerns about their ability and to view academic setbacks as evidence of a lack of ability. When their ability is threatened or undermined, they then withdraw their effort and this, not surprisingly, impairs their academic achievement."

The report also cites, a study involving minority public school students in New York City who were making the difficult transition to 7th grade. Students exposed to the growth mindset, wherein they had opportunity to engage in a motivational intervention showed a sharp rebound in math performance.

It's clear that best practices in character coaching align with widely accepted, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-informed approaches. Research shows that a positive mindset, facilitated through the application of CBT principles, is the key to consistently demonstrating the positive behavior associated with good character skills (Gutman & Schoon, 2013). Instead of attributing poor performance to a lack of talents and abilities, or otherwise uncontrollable environmental factors, students learn to think differently about themselves and their environment, feel better about themselves and experience greater success in achieving their goals.

Progressions facilitates this learning by helping students develop the mindset that they have the talents and abilities to succeed, will work hard and improve, and can see themselves reaching their goals.  




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