Rolling out Growth Mindset in Schools

Growth mindset

There are many fads in education. At the moment teachers are being bombarded by AFL (Assessment for Learning), WALTS (What are we Learning Today) and WILFS (What I’m Looking For) or my favourite at the moment DIRT (Directed Improvement Reflection Time) All this is fine and I’m sure it does have some impact on learning, however it neglects one key issue – If the kids who are sat down in front of you are not motivated to learn, all your efforts in following teaching guidelines from up above (ofsted, estyn) are fruitless.

We need to start approaching education from a different angle. We need to get our kids motivated to learn. We need to look at the psychology of learning. I strongly believe that the Growth Mindset work carried out by Carol Dweck is the foundation of any learning. The reason I believe it is because I have seen it with my own eyes. Not just in the learners in front of me but also in my own learning. Deploying a Growth Mindset in my life has opened many doors and is probably the reason why you are reading this blog  – I hope you are enjoying it so far!

The reason you are reading this blog is to find out what I am doing to roll out Growth Mindset across the school. Here are the steps that I have taken to date:

  • I asked all students in the school (1600) to fill in a questionnaire to find out if they have a Growth or Fixed Mindset. The results proved my initial thoughts – 90% of students had a fixed mindset. Truly worrying.
  • I set up a Growth Mindset working party. We had 5 staff who got together to try and thrash out a plan. This is what we came up with.
  • We invited 50 students (and their parents) out of the 1600 students questioned to attend four 1 hour workshops. The four workshops were titled:
  1. Introduction
  2. What is a Growth Mindset
  3. The Power of Myelin
  4. Become more Gritty

The first meeting was called and we expected the hoards to come through the door. We waited and then waited and then waited…5 parents turned up with their children. Talk about being deflated. Talk about nearly listening to my fixed mindset (which incidentally, I battle against everyday) and sending them home and writing everything off as a bad idea. However, we stayed with it and delivered workshop 1. The following week the parents turned up again and were keen to know more about what a Growth Mindset was. The story told in workshop 1 definitely resinated with them. The group stayed and went through the full course. They found it extremely inspiring and it made them look at the way they were leading their life. The parents certainly began to look at the way they were speaking to their children. Perhaps the most satisfying comment came from a dad, who I had the vibes was fairly pessimistic to begin with. He said he felt very lucky that he and his daughter had been chosen and was dumbfounded that this is being taught in school. He had found a significant impact in his life since adopting a Growth Mindset. This really blew me away and I knew we were on to something

The task is now to carry out the same workshops. With a few little tweaks)we are going  to invite as many students and parents as we possibly can over the next year. It will be a huge challenge but it is one that can be overcome.

As a group we will also be going into assemblies and doing workshops for teachers through the year. Giving them vocab that can be used and ideas how Growth Mindset can be woven into their teaching.

I hope you can follow our journey. If you want to get updated then subscribe to this blog.

Please feel free to comment and share on social media – As I now have Growth Mindset, I would love your feedback.

Thanks

Rich

2 thoughts on “Rolling out Growth Mindset in Schools

  1. Rich every mighty Oak, starts life as a little acorn, so be pleased your started, the few who did attend will hopefully pass on the word. Having read Dr Carol Dweck book, I too believe it could be the key, but I also believe you as a teacher have to make them curious and include them in the learning, I would love schools to introduce periods in the time table in primary school for student self learning or guided learning initiated by the students, like having a ball covered in number, which you pass around the room who ever catches it has to add, multiple divide or add the number into a sentence, why not have a number hunt around the class or playground or school, same with words, make a ball or playing cards with letter and pick 9 letter and see what words they can make, then can the places those words into a sentence. I am rereading and loved reading about a teacher who would get everyone of her class to cut out and colour in their own horse to race around the class every time they learned something or showed growth mindset you could move their horse along an imaginary course, you could get the students to design the course, place hurdle, water jump anything. Why not ask them to decide what they like instead of a horse, what the obstacles will be, what rules, what criteria, would they set for moving there and other people horse in the class, one move for setting their own learning goal that day, two moves if they achieved it, something like that, make learning a game.

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