Hopefully your child has already been talking to you about having, or developing, a Growth Mindset, as we have continued to discuss the concept and have been using strategies to help pupils to develop one!
The concept of a Growth Mindset was formulated by psychologist Carol Dweck and popularised in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. In recent years, many schools and educators have started using Dweck’s theories to inform teaching and learning. When researching the use of praise, she discovered that praising success and ‘cleverness’ reinforced a Fixed Mindset belief in pupils that they were either born ‘clever’ or not, and that there was little that could be done to change this. However, Dweck argues that if you praise hard work, effort and resilience, then pupils will develop instead a Growth Mindset, which makes them more likely to try harder, overcome set-backs and obstacles and achieve success. To back up these findings, there has been a lot of current scientific research that shows that ‘intelligence’ is far from fixed, but rather that the brain can ‘grow’ as it creates neurons when we learn new skills or face and overcome challenges.
This is how Maple Class described a Growth Mindset:
We can already see that children throughout the school are benefiting from all the ‘Growth Mindset’ strategies that are in place, such as being praised for effort, not being routinely grouped based on attainment, regularly changing who they work alongside, choosing their own challenges, having time to reflect upon their own successes and decide upon their next steps in learning. However, we would very much appreciate your help in developing this confidence outside school, by also praising effort, encouraging your child to try new activities and most importantly talking positively about learning from mistakes and avoiding classing a child as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ at something.