Our key aim is to develop a ‘growth mindset’ in all members of our community. It is worth emphasising that a Growth Mindset is not a new course but an approach to school and lifelong learning. Research by Dr Carol Dweck of Stanford University points to people having one of two mindsets: Growth and Fixed.
“In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb.
In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”
A child’s belief about intelligence is an important factor in whether they become an effective learner so being open to their potential for growth is important for success.
Students with a fixed mindset may
- Be scared to contribute to class discussion for fear of looking stupid;
- Take one bad test result as a sign that they cannot do the subject, are going to fail and therefore give up;
- Not try anything new for fear of getting it wrong;
- Persevere with the same approach to their learning even when it is not working rather than being creative and finding a different solution.
We all have some aspects of fixed mindset but it can inhibit our thinking and progress. We will be working with our students to develop growth mindset.
Students who are developing a Growth Mindset
- Use feedback to promote and highlight their ability to grow through effort, planning and commitment.
- Appreciate that they can improve by trying hard and always putting effort into your work.
- Embrace new challenges.
- Take inspiration from the success of others.
- Aim to be resilient and overcome obstacles.
- Have pride and respect – Always Expect Excellence from yourself – the best that can be done
Hearing a consistent message in this approach is crucial to success therefore, staff in the school will be adopting these methods as often as possible. However, it is important that the same message is heard at home so we would encourage parents to try to engage their children with these themes.
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard!