Adriana Tomei

Primary Teacher

St Mary's Primary

  • Growth Mindset

What Happens When Mistakes Are Celebrated In The Classroom?


Growth Mindset is, according to Dweck (2008), a belief that children are able to develop their intelligence – allowing for them to develop a positive state of mind. Children with growth mindsets focus more on improving their learning rather than just looking smart, whereas children with fixed mindsets believe they are born with a certain amount of intelligence and do not possess the ability to change it. This offers many implications for the classroom, particularly when children become reluctant to answer or are often distressed and upset when they make a mistake. In classrooms today, many children still appear to have a fixed mindset throughout a variety of curricular areas, but especially through Numeracy and Maths. As a result, the purpose of this enquiry was to measure the effect that celebrating mistakes in the classroom had on children’s self-esteem and confidence through Number Talks – with the aim that children no longer became distressed if they made mistakes, but rather saw mistakes as positive opportunities to enhance and improve their learning.


The aim of this enquiry was to measure the extent to which mistakes being celebrated in the classroom affected children’s confidence and self-esteem through Numeracy and Maths in a Primary 3/4 class.

Download Practitioner Enquiry