Carol Dweck is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation. She focuses on why people succeed and how to foster this success in schools.
In her research on motivation and achievement, Dweck introduces the idea of mindset. mindsets are beliefs about yourself and your basic qualities such as your intelligence, your talents and your personality.
People with a fixed mindset believe that their traits are just given to them so people with this mindset worry about how adequate or inadequate they are instead of developing their traits. They believe that their talent alone creates success- without effort and they are reluctant to take on challenges.
People with a Growth Mindset, on the other hand see their traits as just the starting point and that these can be developed by dedication, hard work and effort. This view creates resilience and a love of learning.
When we encourage a Growth Mindset in children then they become enthusiastic learners. A Growth Mindset means that their intelligence can be developed which has a positive effect on their motivation and subsequently their achievement. Dweck’s research shows that we produce confident learners when we praise children for the process they engage in and not for being bright, clever or talented.
You may have heard your children talking about how they've been into "the pit" at school! Below is an example of the pictures that are displayed throughout the school and is a visual aid for the children to describe their learning journeys. 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.
Having been introduced to the concept of Growth Mindset pupils have participated in a range of activities to learn more about it and try to display a Growth Mindset in school (and at home). Pupils are taught how their brains work and how new connections are formed when we try new things and practise them, over and over. We have learned about habits and what we need to do to over come our less useful habits. We have had PSHE lessons and assemblies about Growth Mindset, but most importantly, teachers and pupils have embraced the language and the way of thinking that promotes using a Growth Mindset in lessons.