Learning is more than the acquisition of skills, it’s a mindset! With the right mindset, no one is limited to a certain level of intelligence! Henry Ford said – “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right! The mindset we foster has a big impact on our results! At Virginia PS, we are passionate about teaching from a foundation which supports students in building a Growth Mindset. We understand that our intelligence and abilities can either be limited or realised through one’s own mindset!
Psychologist Carol Dweck has done extensive research into the mindsets of people, with a particular interest in the mindset trends of high achievers. Dweck’s research uncovered mindset traits which promoted increased intelligence and thriving while also identifying mindset trends of the opposite experience. These mindset trends gave way to the development of two distinctive mindsets: Fixed and Growth.
Fixed VS Growth Mindset - What does a Growth Mindset look like?
There is one fundamental key difference between the Fixed and Growth Mindset – the perception of one’s own intelligence. A Fixed Mindset is characterised by the perspective that intelligence is fixed or limited to a certain capacity. Whereas a Growth Mindset individual views their intelligence as malleable and expansive. The type of mindset one holds, orients an individual to tackle learning differently. Fixed mindsets aim to ‘appear’ smart by avoiding challenges, giving up when things get difficult, putting in less effort, ignoring feedback and feeling threatened by the success of others. On the other hand, Growth Mindsets aim to grow their intelligence through embracing challenges, persisting in the face of setbacks, seeing effort as a path to mastery, learning from feedback and finding inspiration from the success of others. Building a Growth Mindset allows one to genuinely grow in ability and intelligence, and that’s where the real learning happens!
Growth Mindset tip: ‘Praise the process’
There are many ways to support children in developing a Growth Mindset such as: exposure to challenge, embracing failures, and more. However, one simple strategy to foster Growth Mindsets is shifting the way we praise children: praising the process, not the person. Take the opportunity to provide positive praise, but HOW you structure the praise makes all the difference! Positive psychology research has found that praising one’s process rather than the person themselves avoids negative consequences to self-esteem and promotes thriving behaviours. The simple shift in phrase can make all the different in what mindset is developed. For example:
Fixed Mindset praise: “Well done, you’re amazing!”
Growth Mindset praise: “I am so impressed by how much effort you put into your work, well done!”
Why not try this simple shift for yourself! When we praise the process, we put children in a position to grow and learn more! With the right mindset, there is no limit to the things that can be learned and achieved! Foster a Growth Mindset and you create a passion for learning, rather than a plead for approval!