You may have heard your children talking about how they've been into "the pit" at school! Above is the picture that is displayed in all classrooms throughout the school and is a visual aid for the children to describe their learning journeys throughout the day. We want the children to understand that it is okay to be stuck, and that some of their best learning is done when they find things the hardest. Rather than simply praising success we praise effort and persistence.
We believe the best thing to do is to teach children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. For children who find work easy we make sure they encounter more difficult tasks. Our children recognise that effort, persistence and good teaching are what help them improve.
Every class has been looking at and learning about the two types of mindsets that children and adults can have, a ‘fixed’ mindset and a ‘growth’ mindset. Below is an overview of the traits of each:
A quote from Carol Dweck:
"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."
This is important because (1) individuals with a "growth" theory are more likely to continue working hard despite setbacks and (2) individuals' theories of intelligence can be affected by subtle environmental cues. For example, children given praise such as "good job, you're very smart" are much more likely to develop a fixed mindset, whereas if given compliments like "good job, you worked very hard" they are likely to develop a growth mindset. In other words, it is possible to encourage students, for example, to persist despite failure by encouraging them to think about learning in a certain way.”
Below is some further information about Growth Mindset and what it means to us at Great Binfields, including some examples of motivational quotes displayed around school. We have also included the Presentation from the Parents' Expectation Evening on Growth Mindset. There is also a response to the feedback that we received from these parents' meetings, as well as some further reading on the subject.
Mindset in the classroom: Building a culture of Success and Student achievement in Schools. By Mary Cay Ricci
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
Mindset: Drive the Power of Habit from A Fixed Mindset to A Growth Mindset [Kindle Edition]
Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential by Dweck, Carol (2012)
Carol Dweck: The Effect of Praise on Mindsets
An interview and over view of Fixed and Growth Mindset.
Growth Mindset – Carol Dweck’s website
As part of our on-going work on Growth Mindset, we lead assemblies based around the concept. One such example was an assembly based on 'There is no such word as can't'. A small number of our pupils who were tiring at the end of term, had been showing signs of a fixed mind set and had said 'They can't' when embarking on everyday challenges set ...not just in lessons but also during their social time too.
As part of the assembly, our Headteacher shared the following 2 clips (see links below) which the children were absolutely astonished by and both generated a lot of discussion. At the end, many children asked if they could be sent the links home so they could share how wonderful the 2 different people were.....so here are the links for you all. Anything is possible if we pop our mind to it!