At Manor Farm Community Junior School, we believe it’s of prime importance to encourage our children to have a positive attitude towards learning, growing and being challenged. As part of this, we follow the growth mindset concept, based on the work of Carol Dweck.
Dweck found that people either have a ‘fixed’ or ‘growth’ mindset. A fixed mindset assumes that basic abilities, intelligence and talents are fixed traits – ones you are born with. A growth mindset assumes talents and abilities can be developed through effort, practising and persistence. People with a fixed mindset interpret failure as having a lack of necessary basic abilities, while those with a growth mindset believe they can acquire any given ability provided they invest effort or study, and see failure as a springboard for growth.
We have introduced this theory to staff and pupils and have embedded its ideas within our school ethos. We believe our children need to be excited and intrigued by learning, making mistakes, and being stretched. We seek to encourage them when they ‘fail’ to try again. We do this by praising effort and persistence, instilling a ‘growth mindset’ so that they will be successful not only in school but also their future pursuits. The way in which we encourage children to learn and explore is vital to their success. Here are some examples of how to praise/how not to:
|I can see you worked so hard on this.||You are so smart!|
|It seems like it’s time to try a new strategy.||It’s okay. Maybe you’re just not cut out for this.|
|It looks like that was too easy for you. Let’s find you something challenging so your brain can grow.||That’s right! You did that so quickly and easily; great job!|
|You’ve worked hard to become a good writer. You should challenge yourself with an advanced class, and learn something you don’t know how to do yet.||You have a real talent for writing. You should take a creative writing class because you’re so good at it.
|I like watching you do that.||You’re a natural at that.|
For further information on how to encourage confident and resilient learners at home, have a look at some of the links below.