Please take time over the next few weeks to read the series of ‘Parent Pipelines’ on Growth Mindset aimed at helping you to help your child as a learner. Often the beliefs children have about intelligence, effort and struggle impact the choices they make about learning.
So start thinking about the following statements and how much you agree with each.
“You can learn new things, but you can’t really change your basic intelligence.”
“Your intelligence is something about you that you can’t change very much.”
Children with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed. These students see school as a place to develop their abilities and think of challenges as opportunities to grow.
Children with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence is fixed at birth and doesn’t change or changes very little with practice. These students see school as a place where their abilities are evaluated, they focus on looking smart over learning and they interpret mistakes as a sign that they lack talent.
Stanford University’s professor Carol Dweck has spent decades studying how people think about intelligence. For children with a fixed mindset, the classroom can be a scary place. They see school as the place where their abilities are evaluated, not as a place where their abilities are developed. Their goal in school tends to be to show that they are smart or at least to avoid looking dumb. For them, mistakes are a sign that they lack talent.
For children with a growth mindset, the classroom is a more exciting and less judgmental place. They believe they can develop their ability, and they understand that the classroom is just the place to do that. Children with a growth mindset tend to see challenges as opportunities to grow because they understand that they can improve their abilities by pushing themselves. If something is hard, they understand it will push them to get better.
Story to listen to: The Most Magnificent Thing
Posters for discussion:
Gail Mitchell, Assistant Head of Primary