Recently the MY teaching team participated in a growth mindsets workshop, presented by Annelise. It was a fascinating workshop and, for me, it was an opportunity to to reflect on the language I use when speaking with little people and to assess my own mindset.
Annelise spoke about two kinds of mindset; fixed and growth and how these can impact the ways people approach learning and life.
What struck me as incredible was that when I thought about our class community, I see the traits of a growth mindset naturally in everyone and very few, if any fixed mindset traits. So how great would it be if we could empower them to keep this growth mindset? A growth mindset enables us to view the learning from a more positive place, from a position that understands that struggle and mess are a natural and important element of learning. That persistence and hard work are important to thrive in life. What a great message to instill in our little people.
For a little more information you may like to watch this short and interesting video about Carol Dweck’s research on Growth Mindsets.
So if we’d like to help the little people in our lives keep a strong growth mindset, what can we do?
- Avoid praising intelligence only.
- Teach the value of challenge.
- Use the word yet more, it changes disparaging sentences into positive ones e.g. “I can’t do that.” vs “I can’t do that yet.”
- Model growth mindset language, e.g. “this is another chance to learn” or “time to try some different strategies.”