A key part of being a Ralphie is to develop a love of learning. To help our pupils to achieve this, we have been using the language of ‘Growth Mindset’.
This concept has been developed by US educationalist, Carol Dweck. One of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation, she focuses on why people succeed and how to foster this success in schools.
In her research on motivation and achievement, Dweck introduces the idea of Mindset. Mindsets are beliefs about yourself and your basic qualities such as your intelligence, your talents and your personality.
People with a ‘Fixed Mindset’ believe that their traits are just given to them so people with this Mindset worry about how adequate or inadequate they are instead of developing their traits. They believe that their talent alone creates success- without effort and they are reluctant to take on challenges.
People with a ‘Growth Mindset’, on the other hand see their traits as just the starting point and that these can be developed by dedication, hard work and effort. This view creates resilience and a love of learning.
When we encourage a Growth Mindset in children then they become enthusiastic learners. A Growth Mindset means that their intelligence can be developed which has a positive effect on their motivation and subsequently their achievement. These students embrace challenge and struggle as a key part of learning.
We introduced this idea in September 2016 with a Cross Curricular Day. The students undertook variety of activities, learning about how our brains work and how our brain makes new connections all the time. We were introduced to stories of determination and resilience and were surprised to find out how many mistakes our heroes have made along the way. Mr Spong’s ‘Epic Fail’ board in the Hall, showcases examples of challenges faced by staff along their own journeys.