During one of my recent practical experiences, a PD session for all staff was organised, which centered around developing a growth mindset.
So what does a growth mindset look like?
Someone with a growth mindset simply recognises that their skills, abilities, or intelligence are not pre-determined, and they have the power to make changes. They recognise that they are valued for who they are not what they can achieve, and place less value on praise for success and failure, and more on effort demonstrated in the process.
Reflecting on experiences during my High School years, I recall many teachers who held ‘fixed mindsets’ about their student’s ‘abilities’. Fixed mindsets not only have detrimental effects on students considered at the bottom of the class but also at the top as discussed by Carol Dwek in her study on how mindset affects learning.
As educators, the first, and perhaps the most significant aspect, is to make sure we are exhibiting a growth mindset ourselves – since, if our mindset is fixed, our children will see this and imitate it. It is our responsibility to help children understand the difference between a fixed and a growth mindset, and work with them to foster their growth mindset. One of the greatest blocks to learning are student’s own beliefs in their ability. Learning to view mistakes and progress differently can improve student’s performance and their willingness to engage in learning.
An excellent resource to view with young students is the class dojo series on Growth Mindsets, designed especially for students.
This is a very interesting topic, one that I believe is integral for teacher’s to fully understand and embrace before entering the classroom.