Growth Mindset

​​Last week, Year 4/5 presented assembly around growth mindset. But why do we keep talking about it and what is it? 

What Is a Mindset?
 A mindset refers to whether you believe qualities such as intelligence and talent are fixed or changeable traits. People with a fixed mindset believe that these qualities are inborn, fixed, and unchangeable. Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that these abilities can be developed and strengthened by way of commitment and hard work. 

The Two Types of Mindsets 
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck began her research on this topic by tackling a question: What happens if you give kids a difficult problem to solve? Some children viewed the problem as a challenge and learning experience. Other children felt that it was impossible to solve and that their intelligence was being held up for scrutiny and judgment. The kids in the first group had growth mindsets. When faced with something difficult, they believed that they could learn and develop the skills they needed to solve it. The second group of kids had fixed mindsets. They believed that there was nothing they could do to tackle a problem that was out of the reach of their knowledge and abilities. 

Why Mindsets Matter
Your mindset plays a critical role in how you cope with life's challenges. In school, a growth mindset can contribute to greater achievement and increased effort. When facing a problem such as trying to find a new job, people with growth mindsets show greater resilience. They are more likely to persevere in the face of setbacks while those with fixed mindsets are more liable to give up. Fixed mindsets, Dweck explains, tend to create a need for approval. "I've seen so many people with this one consuming goal of proving themselves in the classroom, in their careers, and in their relationships," Dweck explains in her book Mindset. "Every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality, or character. Every situation is evaluated: Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser?" Growth mindsets, on the other hand, result in hunger for learning. A desire to work hard and discover new things. To tackle challenges and grow as a person. When people with a growth mindset try and fail, they tend not to view it as a failure or disappointment. Instead, it is a learning experience that can lead to growth and change.

What Is Your Mindset?
Do you have a fixed or growth mindset? Start reading the following statements and decide which ones you agree with most. 

  1. ​People have a certain amount of intelligence, and there isn't any way to change it. 
  2. No matter who you are, there isn't much you can do to improve your basic abilities and personality. 
  3. People are capable of changing who they are. 
  4. You can learn new things and improve your intelligence. 
  5. People either have particular talents, or they don't. You can't just acquire talent for things like music, writing, art, or athletics. 
  6. Studying, working hard, and practicing new skills are all ways to develop new talents and abilities.

If you tend to agree with statements 1, 2, and 5, then you probably have a more fixed mindset. If you agree with statements 3, and 4, 6, however, then you probably tend to have a growth mindset.

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