The Growth Mindset A belief – a belief about yourself and your most fundamental qualities like ability, faith, personality, political views, talents etc. An established set of attitudes Consider two children of similar achievement levels and background given the same task. The task is well pitched and designed to stretch them. Rowan sets to with gusto. He's good at this sort of task and values his reputation as someone who gets things right, fast. He finds the task unusually tough and quickly becomes dispirited, worrying that he's coming across as 'slow'. He tells his classmates the task's 'boring' and he disengages from it. Naz sets to with gusto. He finds the task tough and his intellectual interest is heightened. His initial attempts lead nowhere and he laughs when he realizes he's going down a blind alley. He tries a new strategy and engages classmates in a task-focused discussion. He shows curiosity and tenacity and steadily makes progress. “In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that's that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don't necessarily think everyone's the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.” Carol Dweck 2012 Mindset: Fixed Growth Your belief: Intelligence is a fixed trait Intelligence is cultivated through learning Your priority: Look clever, not stupid Become more clever through learning You feel clever: Achieving easy, low effort successes and outperforming others Engaging fully with new tasks, exerting effort, stretching and applying skills You avoid: Effort, difficulty, setbacks, higherperforming peers Easy, previously mastered tasks Growth mindset is the deep-down belief, born of experience, that putting in the effort in learning is a worthwhile thing to do, because it is likely to bear fruit both in terms of making progress on things you care about, and in terms of strengthening your intelligence itself, which will stand you in good stead for the future. A few years later…… Rule Number 1: Fixed: look clever at all costs, never look stupid Growth: learn at all costs Rule number 2: Effort: Fixed: it should come naturally, effort = lack of ability. Equate being clever with not having to work hard. Struggling means I’m not clever. Growth – work hard, effort is hard but allows you to increase your ability over time –even geniuses have to work hard at their discoveries. Dedication and hard work are the key. Do Geniuses Work-- Or Does it Just Come Naturally? Einstein Marie Curie Marie Curie and Einstein developed their genius through passion and tremendous effort. “Quality is never an accident, but the result of intelligent effort.” (Ruskin) “I believe that you can always get better. It’s kind of the mindset I always try to have because it is something that keeps me going every single day on the practice courts, day in, day out, trying to give my best and trying to always inspire myself to play better tennis and to improve. I know I have a quite complete game but there is still room for improvement. That is something that excites me for the future.” Wimbledon, July 2013 Rule number 3: In the face of setbacks Fixed: it’s about me, children hide mistakes or deficiencies ,can lead to cheating. No recipe for handling difficulty, give up, become defensive, try to feel superior in other ways. “I’m bored, it’s boring.” Growth: confront mistakes, mistakes are supposed to happen, address deficiencies by studying more and working harder “I’m going to keep practising until I get better.” It is the foundation of resilience. First A ttempt In L earning Our language tells children what we believe and what we value. Intelligence praise = “Wow you got them all right you must be clever.” Process praise: “Wow you got them all right, you must have practised a lot and worked really hard.” Intelligence praise = Fixed Process praise = Growth Looking clever vs. Learning Effort, struggle, persistence despite setbacks, but not just effort… Strategies, choices Choosing difficult tasks Learning, improving Make the word ‘struggle’ a positive word “Who had a great struggle today?” indicates positivity, learning. I’m not good at _____... I can’t do ______... I tried but it didn’t work… yet yet yet The brain is like a muscle that gets stronger with use and it has the ability to grow and change. The brain is a network of cells (neurons) The cells communicate through chemical messages . The messages signal other neurons whether to fire or not. Learning promotes the formation of new connections between neurons in the brain. A growth mindset enables children to: Embrace learning and growth Understand the role of effort in creating talent Maintain confidence and effectiveness in the face challenges and setbacks …and it can be taught. It’s never too late! Well done. You are learning to....’ ‘I’m really pleased you tried that. Look what you achieved.’ ‘I like the way you....’ ‘Don’t give up’ ‘What are you most proud of?’ ‘Good learner’ instead of clever ‘Be brave’ ‘Have a go, have another go’ ‘Not work - learning’ Aged 15 Jack Andraka discovered a near-100 per cent accurate test for pancreatic cancer that diagnoses early enough to ensure an almost 100 per cent chance of survival. In context: only 5.5 per cent of those diagnosed currently survive for five years. Andraka’s test, 400 times more sensitive, 168 times faster and 26,000 times cheaper than today’s, will revolutionise that. It can also be applied to ovarian and lung cancer. Jack, now 16, is certainly not average. His light bulb idea occurred while reading an article on carbon nanotubes in a journal he’d smuggled into biology class under his hoodie. He recognised that nanotubes could suspend a protein, which, when coated on strips of filter paper, could cheaply and reliably test for pancreatic cancer (the disease killed both a family member, and his hero, Steve Jobs). “Just after I had my ‘eureka’ moment,” he says, “the teacher stormed over and confiscated the journal.” He wrote to 200 professors begging to develop his theory. All but one rejected him. Dr Anirban Maitra, at the Sol Goldman Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore was prepared to take the risk. “Because of the laws on child labour, I was ‘a volunteer’ and snuck into the lab through a back door,” says Andraka. The potential of his discovery is huge: “You can switch the antibody to detect all kinds of diseases: HIV and Aids, Alzheimer’s, heart disease,” he explains. “I wouldn’t call myself smart,” he says. “I know people who are way smarter. But ... I guess it’s how you use information. It’s about creativity rather than facts. I’m a creative thinker. My parents never told me answers. They told me how to think, not what to think. I disagree with our bulimic education system: learning by rote and then puking up all the facts in an exam.” The Staircase of Life by AC, Y6 Chew Stoke Primary School, 2006 Every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day, we move on. Through good times and bad times, happy and sad times we move on. Each day is just another step on the staircase of life. Sometimes it seems like we'll never reach the next step, and the dawning of a new day seems impossibly far away; but we move on - we move up. We can soar like birds, struggling against whatever life throws at us; ambition is our wings, carrying us through, making us determined to get there and reach our goal. If you believe you can do it then you can do it. If you look back and reflect on your life so far, you remember all those things you thought you could never do - and remember saying I can't do it - but you got there - YOU DID IT. You climbed another step on the staircase of life. You moved onto harder things and up to do better things. You can do anything, anything you believe in. It should be a basic human right for children to live in an environment where the growth mindset exists.