Kennington CE Academy is a Growth Mindset School
Put simply, that means we believe that all children (and adults) can develop our abilities and our intelligence. One of our favourite things to say when things are challenging is,
“I can’t do this ……YET!”
This is not just a belief; scientific evidence has proven that we can strengthen our brains by challenging them and by… making mistakes!!
So where is the evidence?
Over four decades and countless studies, Carol Dweck and other Mindset researchers have provided empirical evidence that people with growth Mindsets are more:
- Open to challenges and constructively critical feedback
- Resilient in the face of obstacles and initial failure
- Able to learn well with and from others
- Likely to attribute success and failure to their own efforts, rather than to their innate abilities
- Likely to rise to the top – and stay there.
I am sure that you would agree, that this is definitely something we want for our pupils.
This is why we at Kennington are developing a Growth Mindset in our children.
So how do we do this?
First of all, it is important for children to understand how they learn and so we teach them about the brain. This is done in a way that is age appropriate.
Check out this video that shows how neural pathways are formed.
We know that having a Growth Mindset ensures that our brains have the best chance of growing and strengthening our neural pathways. To develop this in school, we celebrate being in the pit. Ask your child if they have been in the pit lately. You might be surprised by their answer.
Change your Words Change your Mindset
Another way to help our brains to grow, is to have the right attitude to our learning. We can do this by changing the things we say and think about ourselves.
In our Classrooms(and offices) we have examples of the right things we should say to ourselves when learning is challenging.
Learn from our mistakes.
This is of course difficult for all of us, but in our school we have a culture where mistakes are seen as a necessary part of learning. Adults, as well as children are encouraged to reflect on how their mistakes have helped them to develop as learners. This is an essential part of learning resilience. If we can accept and learn from our mistakes, we will be much happier to face new challenges which in turn grows our brains.
Learn from others.
The world is full of stories about great successes who were once seen as failures.
We also learn from each other all of the time.
So how can you help?
Carol Dweck is a leading Psychologist in the field of Growth Mindset and she has some very interesting research about how the way we praise children can be holding them back.If you would like to find out more, then watch this short clip which illustrates her findings.
Carol Dweck – A Study on Praise and Mindsets
For over a decade Carol Dweck and her team studied the effects of praise on students. This study involved a series of experiments on over 400 5th graders from all over the country. The results will blow your mind.