What is Growth Mindset?
Growth Mindset is an educational theory that is increasingly used in classrooms to enhance children's learning. It is about providing children with the opportunity to discuss and reflect on their own learning journey and not placing limits on their journeys.
The notion of 'mindset' has been around for many years in education and describes the way learners need to feel about themselves and their abilities in order to be successful learners. When developing a Growth Mindset, children are encouraged to think that they can 'grow' their brain with practice and effort.
There are two mindsets:
Fixed Mindset - focuses on ability rather than effort
Growth Mindset - focuses on effort and achievement.
Why introduce Growth Mindset into the classroom?
In the classroom, our children are introduced to Growth Mindset by helping them to think about the brain as a muscle - and like other muscles in our body - the more we use it, the more it develops and grows. We can help our brain to do this.
The children are encouraged to select their own challenges, are rewarded for effort not outcome. There is no ceiling for their learning and all children are encouraged to try, even when they feel stuck. Indeed, being 'stuck' is seen as an important part of the learning process and is called the 'learning pit'. The challenge is working to get out of the 'learning pit' by doing different activities, working with other children and getting feedback from the teacher. Making a mistake is seen as something positive and with useful feedback children are encouraged to learn from their errors and keep trying.
Impact of Growth Mindset
As children become more familiar with Growth Mindset they:
- develop high expectations
- build confidence and self esteem
- take responsibility for choosing their own learning tasks and level of challenge
- are less fearful of mistakes and failure; rather they see it as part of good learning
- learn to use feedback in a positive way
Our aim is to help children develop a Growth Mindset and equip them with the skills required for their futures.
Our children have made posters for their classrooms displaying the processes involved in Growth Mindset and talked about growth mindset during collective worship and in their lessons so they can actively 'grow their brain'.