Helping Underrepresented Students Overcome Failure with Self-Regulation

Underrepresented Students failure and Michael JordanOne of my favorite “failure stories” is that of Michael Jordan.

The boy who never made his high school basketball team went on to become one of the most recognized and accomplished athletes of the sport. He is the first to admit that he had to endure failure in order to get to where he is now.

We have all hit a wall at one point or another. The times when the going gets tough or we face failure are the times we are required to dig deep and find a way to move past those challenges and keep going.

Gifted students, who find many learning tasks come easily, often struggle to move past moments of difficulty or failure. Yet most of them have the skills and resources available to them within their sphere of life to conquer failure.

This is the essence of self-regulation: working through a task despite the challenges.

That is not necessarily the case for students from underrepresented populations. Gifted students from these populations may face unique challenges and most often do not have the emotional resources, family support, or personal skillset that make the difference between pushing through and giving up.

In this 3-hour course, “Self-Regulation: Critical Skills for Underrepresented Students’ Success in Gifted Programs,” Richard Cash, Ed.D., shares his many years of expertise in this area and provides skills and strategies for teachers working in similar populations.

Dr. Cash has worked in the field of education for over 25 years. His range of experience includes teaching at the elementary, middle school and college levels. He has also authored several books in the field of gifted education.

Here are the Impediments to success

self-regulation and Underrepresented StudentsIn order to address the unique challenges faced by underrepresented students, it is important to understand what some of those are and why they exist. Dr. Cash points out many of those challenges including:

  • Insufficient support inside and outside of school – Many students come from families who work hard and barely make ends meet, leaving little time for extra academic support or activities to foster learning. In addition, the school setting itself may not be conducive to identifying these gifted students when they may be struggling in other areas.
  • Stereotyping – This can occur from the outside where educators or parents have a preconceived idea of what makes a G/T student. It can also occur internally as many students in underrepresented populations have internalized the stereotypes. This can include the idea that it is “not cool” to be smart.
  • Fixed Mindset – A fixed mindset means a student believes he/she cannot achieve success, lacks confidence, is unable to learn from mistakes, and internalizes a negative perspective.

The key to Dr. Cash’s program for helping struggling students is to turn that fixed mindset into a growth mindset through identifying the areas where students are getting stuck and giving them tools and strategies to move forward.

Self-Regulation: Behavior + Cognition + Affect = Success!

teaching self-regulation to Underrepresented StudentsThe goal of self-regulation is for underrepresented students to internalize motivation for learning activities. This must include all three areas of behavior, cognition, and affect. Behavior and cognition are the easiest ones to assess and to address in a classroom situation. For underrepresented populations, Dr. Cash asserts that affect is the most important.

If students do not feel they will succeed or feel good about success, they simply will not pursue it. Therefore, the challenge is to foster confidence in these students by motivating them in the following ways:

  • Help them find the value, joy, and benefit of working at something
  • Reassure them that they have the skills, talents, and abilities for success
  • Ensure that they feel confident taking risks when challenged
  • Develop their self-regulation and confidence
  • Shift their mindset to growth (effort)
  • Assist them in setting goals
  • Prepare them for success (strategies for studying, organizing, listening, failing, etc.)

Shifting the Mindset: Growth

self-regulation and Underrepresented StudentsDr. Cash presents a straightforward plan for students to complete a task in four phases:

  1. Empower students
  2. Plan for the task
  3. Do the task
  4. Review successes and failures

Students stuck in a fixed mindset are unable to get past phase two. In order to move them toward self-regulation, we must help them to realign their thinking toward a growth mindset. You will learn positive strategies for shifting your students toward a growth mindset so that they too can push past challenge and failure.

Get ready to win with your students! “Self-Regulation: Critical Skills for Underrepresented Students’ Success in Gifted Programs” is packed with information and strategies to help them push past their challenges and find success in the classroom!


Delivering Quality Training – No Matter Where You Are

Mobile Ready Professional Development GDid you know that this course is mobile ready? That means you can complete the course on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, or any other mobile device!

Photos courtesy of Flickr via Celestine Chua and Play it Smart Centennial.