What is growth Mindset?

You may have heard the words growth mindset thrown around in education. In this post we hope to give you a quick and simple overview of what a growth mindset is, what it means for your child and how we incorporate a growth mindset in our program.

What is growth mindset?

Growth mindset simply put is an understanding that we can get better and a belief that we are capable of anything. “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” (Dweck, 2015).

Growth mindset is a fairly straight forward concept. Understand that we can improve, put in the work and it will come. However it isn't that simple. Along with a growth mindset we also have a fixed mindset. What is a fixed mindset? The student that 'believes' they cannot do Maths, a student that thinks they are no good at science or can't read. A fixed mindset is a student that is focused on the outcome of a test or a result creating a win/fail mentality e.g. I get the answer right I am a genius wrong and I am a moron.

What does that mean for children? How can a growth mindset be developed?

If our goal is to achieve a growth mindset in children so that they can believe they're capable of anything we first must focus on a positive mindset. We need them to think positively about themselves, positively about their ability to learn something and to focus on the journey over the outcome.

How do you create a growth mindset?

We can achieve a growth mindset in children by focusing on ourselves. To begin we start by focusing on the conversations we have with children. When a child puts up a barrier, 'I can't do this! or I don't get it!' we often find ourselves saying things like, try again. If you hear try again coming out of your mouth try changing your words to what did you try? Do you know another strategy, let's try a strategy together. The more we ask growth mindset questions the better they will become at asking them before hitting a road block.

Focus on process over outcome. Let's take something we all did as kids, learn times tables. If your child is struggling and they believe they are terrible at maths and will never understand it, try depowering the questions. Flip the question - the answer is 24, what could the times tables be? Or I can't figure out 4x7. Don't be scared to give them the answer. It equals 42. What did you get? How did you get that? What strategies could you use?

Model a growth mindset. As adults we are solving problems throughout our lives. Managing finances, juggling schedules, making life fit into 24 hours. Talk to your children. Show them that you have a growth mindset. Then show that you're improving, learning, reading, working out. Show them how you have a growth mindset.