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A growth mindset is positively linked to effective learning strategies, self-efficacy and can increase achievement for lower-ability students.
A growth mindset is the belief that abilities and intelligence are malleable and can be developed and improved through perseverance, good strategies, and support from others. This does not mean that there are not differences in capability between people, but rather that people can increase their intelligence through the right learning strategies and effort. A growth mindset is associated with willingness to make an effort, learning from constructive criticism, and being prepared to make mistakes and experience setbacks, in order to learn the best way to adapt actions or change strategies.
It is important to note that everyone has a mixture of both fixed and growth mindsets, often with different mindsets in different learning areas. The key is to identify when fixed mindset thoughts and actions occur, and consciously replace them with more growth-oriented thoughts and behaviours.
A growth mindset is positively linked to effective learning strategies, help-seeking behaviours, perseverance, and self-efficacy. Growth mindsets can narrow achievement gaps and increase achievement for lower-ability students.
True learning is uncomfortable and often challenging. It involves faltering, confusion and disorientation. The most productive learners are not necessarily more intelligent than others, but more willing to endure these feelings of being lost or confused. A growth mindset helps students develop constructive responses and behaviours for learning, such as redoubling their efforts and trying new strategies, whereas a fixed mindset can foster negative perceptions and patterns of helpless responses, including a loss of task enjoyment and motivation, and a lack of effort and persistence.
There is a growing evidence base to suggest that skills, behaviours or dispositions such as self-efficacy, perseverance and resilience (which underpin a growth mindset) do influence learning. Research led by Professor Carol Dweck has further demonstrated the impact that a growth mindset can have on students’ achievement. However, there currently is little evidence to suggest that specific growth mindset interventions lead to increased academic achievement.
The following strategies can support the development of growth mindsets among your students:
Have you created a classroom culture and developed learning activities where perseverance and resilience are actively taught and practiced?
"I found this section really informative – the case studies make it really easy to see how to take the next step... into the classroom"
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