Sherria Dyslexia Group presentation

Dr Sherria Hoskins, University of Portsmouth
What is Growing Learners
• Evidence based educational consultancy based
at the University of Portsmouth:
– Dr Sherria Hoskins
– Dr Victoria Devonshire
– Dr Emily Mason-Apps
– Dr Frances Warren
• What we have done so far...
– Worked with PCC to explore why we
have lower than average attainment in
the city.
– Worked with over 150 schools
• EEF – Randomised control trial.
• Part of the ‘Closing the Gap’ scheme
(funded by National College for
Teaching & Leadership)
• Direct work with schools that request
our support.
“I don’t divide the world into the weak and
the strong, or the successes and the
failures... (or the high and low ability) I
divide the world into the learners and non
Benjamin Barber
• Theories of intelligence (Mindsets)
• Tips for everyday practice
• Exploring the evidence
Theories of
What are Mindsets?
Growth Mindset
• Belief that intelligence is malleable and can
• Success takes effort and persistence, learning
from mistakes and challenges.
Fixed Mindset
• Belief that intelligence is something you are born
• Can’t change it much.
1. You have a certain amount of intelligence,
and you really can’t do much to change it.
2. Your intelligence is something about you
that you can’t change very much.
3. You can learn new things, but you can’t
really change your basic intelligence.
Approaches to Learning:
Fixed Mindset
Growth Mindset
Intelligence is a fixed trait & can’t
change much
Intelligence can be increased through
Focus on performance
Focus on learning
Failure and/or effort perceived as being
sign of low ability
Not threatened by hard work or failure
Choose activities to maximise
performance (easy ones to feel clever)
Seek new challenges for a sense of
Don’t recover well from setbacks
Mistakes are perceived as a good thing
as they help the learning processes
Decrease efforts, withdraw or consider
cheating (self-protection)
View effort and persistence as a
necessary part of success
Helplessness orientation
Mastery orientation
High Ability
Low Ability
How to promote a Growth
Tips on Everyday practice
High expectations
Focus: resilience, self-sufficiency & good learning
Specific plans for growth and development
Celebrating mistakes
Use of role models
Set high expectations
Research shows lowering expectations does not
raise self-esteem.
• Important to have high expectations (Pygmalion study: Rosenthal &
Jacobson, 1968).
• Expectations should focus on effort, habits, improvement
and resilience rather than on outcomes that solely reflect
• All goals should emphasise growth; the development of skill
or the expanding of knowledge.
e.g. Don’t always give easy spellings to ‘poor spellers’, include
a challenging word too.
Celebrating mistakes
• The fear of making mistakes and associated shame
and embarrassment can stop pupils from trying.
• Don’t let pupils blame others for failure and mistakes.
• Make the most of their mistakes, celebrate mistakes!
• Promote challenge, effort and mistakes as part of
everyone’s learning process.
• When examples of attainment explore the process,
effort and mistakes.
• Give time each week to discuss learning via mistakes
(Mistakes Board).
Person/ability focused
feedback causes...
…Temporary high self-esteem if performed well but
longer term implications:
• When challenged or fail, pupils don’t know how to put it
right, and instead re-evaluate ability
• Creates low self-esteem/feel bad about themselves
• Avoidance of task in future
• Drop in attainment over time
Growth feedback
Give ‘process praise’
• Effort
• Strategy
• Interpret setbacks as lack of effort, persistence
or result of inappropriate strategies
Use also ‘task praise’
• What is better/worse than the last attempt
• What is/is not good, realistic, neat, correct etc.
about the product
Exploring the
Evidence from Neuroscience
Neurones in the brain transmit
information through connections
(synapses). The more we keep
our brains active through learning
new information, the more
connections the brain makes.
UCL - London taxi drivers.
Brain scans = larger hippocampus than others
Grew as they spent more time in the job.
Suggests brain adapts to help them learn ‘The
Knowledge’ and store mental maps.
Ericsson, Krampe, & Tesch-Romer (2007)
• Outstanding performance in violinists from the Music
Academy of West Berlin in Germany.
• Students were divided into three groups:
1. The outstanding group (expected to become international solists).
These were the children normally described as “super talented” and
“naturally” gifted.
2. The extremely good group (expected to end up playing in the
world’s top orchestras, but not as star soloists)
3. The least able group (studying to become music teachers- a course
with far less stringent entry requirements)
Ericsson, Krampe, & Tesch-Romer (2007)
All three groups were remarkably similar regarding a lot of
factors, such as the age they started playing the violin, the
age they decided to become musicians, the number of
teachers who had taught them.
One dramatic difference between the groups:
The number of hours spent practising
By the age of 20, the outstanding group had spent and
average of 10000 hours practising- 2000 more hours than
the extremely good group, and 6000 more than the least
able group.
There were no exceptions to this pattern.
Blackwell, Trzesniewski & Dweck (2007)
Study 1: Children’s theory of intelligence predicted maths grades
when making transition to high school.
• Pupils with growth mindsets progressed faster and outperformed
pupils with fixed mindsets.
Study 2: Intervention training (Brainology)
• 8 week intervention with school children.
• One group received study skills and mindset workshop, other
group received only study skills.
• Over period of 2 months, mindset training promoted positive
change in motivation and grades, in comparison to study skills only
Good, Aronson & Inzlicht (2003)
• Pupils were randomly assigned student mentors who
provided them growth mindset training.
• These pupils increased in maths and reading test scores
compared to a control group (who received antidrug
• Further, girls who received mindset training particularly
benefitted in maths scores and narrowed the gender gap.
• Performance suppressed by stereotype?
• Boys already positive and performing well in maths.
Mueller & Dweck (1998)
Number of Problems solved
Trial 1
Trial 3
Carol Dweck talking about praise
Effort Praise
Control Praise
Intelligence Praise
US Research
May not be relevant
Small numbers
One or two schools
No teacher intervention
No long term follow up
Sometimes no control
What about in the UK?
Evidence from schools
Westcott School, Wokingham, Berks
• Have been using a growth mindset approach in their
• Mindset display in each
• Discuss learning and
mistakes each week
• Use terms such as
incremental learners,
even in reception
Deputy Head – Celia Thatcher:
"The growth mindset culture truly
encapsulates our "Anything's Possible"
motto...The children understand that in
order to learn they must be brave and make mistakes and this
allows them to tackle challenges they wouldn't have attempted
before... A mindset can be changed whatever the age of a
person, but the younger the child is when a growth mindset is
fostered the better the child's chance of success now and in later
The success of this culture is seen through the buzz in every
classroom at our school, where both children and adults
challenge themselves daily to progress and learn. Glass ceilings
have been well and truly smashed...and anything really is
Scottish study
The EEF Project...
Pupil Intervention
Study Skills
Teacher Intervention
What we have learned from
our experiences:
Better to identify learning orientations than mindsets.
Your Learning
• 30 questions, designed to assess pupils’ learning
orientation and represents four areas of behaviour:
– Helplessness orientation
• E.g. “I feel stupid when I find something difficult at school.”
– Approach to mistakes
• E.g. “I feel OK about making mistakes because I learn from them.”
– Approach to challenges
• E.g., “I prefer easy tasks to challenging tasks.”
– Mastery orientation
• E.g., “If get something wrong, I try again.”
What we have found . . .??
Any questions?
Phone us on 023 9284 6315
[email protected]

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