Growth Mindset - Banstead Infant School

The Growth
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
Your belief:
Intelligence is a fixed
Intelligence is cultivated
through learning
Your priority:
Look clever, not stupid
Become more clever through
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
A few years later……
Rule Number 1:
 Fixed: look clever at all costs, never look stupid
 Growth: learn at all costs
Rule number 2:
 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?
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.”
“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.
 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…
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
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.

similar documents