Growth mindset research is about learning how we humans can all become more motivated and effective learners, not about how we can change students but not ourselves.
A growth mindset is the understanding that personal qualities and abilities can change. It leads people to take on challenges, persevere in the face of setbacks, and become more effective learners
Growth mindset is not telling a person that they are working hard, or setting having high expectations, nor talking to them about being resilient. It is the belief that qualities can change and that we can develop our intelligence and abilities.
A body of research has shown that telling students that they’re smart and implying that their success depends on it fosters fixed mindsets. When these students later experience struggle, they tend to conclude that their ability is not high after all, and as a result they lose confidence, so our praise has the opposite effect of what we intended. On the other hand, praising things that children can control such as hard work or strategies used, has been shown to support a growth mindset.
Often students haven’t learned that working hard involves thinking hard, which involves reflecting on and changing strategies so that they may become more and more effective learners over time, we need to guide them to come to understand this!
“It’s not just about effort. You also need to learn skills that let you use your brain in a smarter way. . . to get better at something.” (Yeager & Dweck, 2012.)
Dan Heasler talks about developing a Minecraft Mindset. In his blog he discusses how he uses Mindcraft to discuss mindset with children
Whilst it is obviously important to develop a Growth Mindset culture with staff, through their teaching and interactions with students, if it’s going to be embedded across the school, we need to get students thinking about mindset. By getting them to think about mindset, we will encourage them to reflect on themselves as learners and then hopefully change their approach to learning.
This year all of our classrooms will have the below posters displayed (courtesy ofJason Ramasami). Children will be invited to create their own digital poster and hyperlink examples of what this might look like in their learning environment.