Building a Learning Mindset: Cultivating Curiosity and Embracing Growth

Helping young people see that learning happens beyond the classroom walls is one of the most important habits we can help nurture. Working with individuals to establish a continuous learning mindset requires an ongoing effort on the part of mentors and other authority figures. By modeling a sense of curiosity, they can spur a stronger level of curiosity in those with whom they work. Keep reading to learn more about what a culture of continuous learning looks like. 

Encourage Curiosity and Self-Directed Learning

As a mentor, to cultivate a curious and inquisitive mindset in those around you, you need to model that type of behavior. You can do this by asking questions that continue the conversation or recapping what you have learned from a book or event. You also can encourage curiosity by helping a mentee set concrete goals related to their learning. Mentors who pursue these steps with their mentees set an example that they can mimic.

Additionally, building a learning mindset means embracing self-directed learning.  To do this, an individual needs to take initiative when it comes to learning new skills or following up on areas of interest. A skilled mentor can show a mentee how to do this by sharing personal experiences and patiently accompanying a mentee who may be reluctant to take the next steps. 

Look for Learning Resources 

Young people may assume that learning resources are limited to what is present in their school’s library. While libraries are an excellent place to delve deeper into a topic of interest, it’s critical that young people know they have other resources at their disposal.  For instance, listening to a speaker from a discipline or career track of interest or attending a workshop can help inspire continuous learning, as well. 

At OhanaHC, we ensure that the youth we serve have access to community events, mentors with diverse skill sets, and other opportunities that can build a growth mindset. Further, we assist our mentors with ongoing training so that they feel equipped to make a positive impact. 

Build a Culture of Continuous Learning 

The effort to build a culture of continuous learning can pay off as young people enter a world without as much structure after high school. Be sure to reward a mentee’s efforts with affirming comments and other rewards. Offer to take a mentee to another relevant event to keep them engaged, or make an effort to set goals related to what piques their interest. If you have a mentee interested in opening their own business one day, for example, arrange an opportunity to meet or shadow a local entrepreneur who has come from similar circumstances. 

One of our priorities at OhanaHC is to help promote continuous learning in both the youth we serve and volunteers who help enact our mission. We welcome new individuals who can help facilitate opportunities that encourage young people to see learning as an ongoing habit. Please fill out the contact form on our website or email us at info@ohanahc.org to learn more!

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Ohana of Howard County, Inc. is following the CDC, Maryland, and Howard County recommendations to ensure the safety of students, volunteers, and staff. At this time, we will be moving to in-person programming and masks are optional. When appropriate, we will provide hybrid or virtual options for engagement.

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