Craig Gourlay


Dalziel High

  • Growth Mindset

What happens when I use positive reinforcement in the classroom?


The Scottish Government National Attainment Challenge is a matter of priority in increasing the level of numeracy, literacy and health and wellbeing across Scotland’s young people. Evidence suggests that implementing a growth mindset can help learners become more engaged in their studies and therefore assists in closing the poverty related attainment gap. Therefore, it is a fundamental aspect of teaching in Scotland to encourage learners to think positively about their learning. Carol Dweck’s theory that the mindset of a pupil is ‘directly linked with how well they perform’ (Dweck, 2007) is a main focus of this classroom based Practitioner Enquiry. In order to understand how best to improve the mindset of a learner, it is imperative to identify what sort of praise will contribute most. Dweck believes that ‘no matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.’


The aims of this enquiry were to:

  • Evaluate the introduction of positive reinforcement to learners and discover any impact on their self-esteem.
  • Identify whether the impact changes through learners’ progression from S.1 to S.3.
Download Practitioner Enquiry