Jennifer Stirling

Primary Teacher

Wishaw Academy Primary

  • Growth Mindset

What happens when pupils use peer encouragement in the classroom?

Rationale

After many classroom observations, it was clear that certain children have a fixed mindset into the way they learn. It was decided that an enquiry into peer encouragement would be beneficial as the work of Dweck (2012) states that praising the learning process can develop a growth mindset. Praising a child’s effort, focus or strategies is much more effective than praising for amount of work completed or correct answers. Some children do not have a high level of motivation to participate in the classroom during discussions and often this responsibility can be left to a small group of children, following a discussion with the children prior to carrying out the enquiry. Pupils therefore do not feel the need to involve themselves or motivate themselves to do better as they know the burden is lifted from them. On top of this, pupils often feel that mistakes made are a failure and they do not see the opportunity to learn from this and therefore take this view forward to future situations. Offering the opportunity to allow encouragement to come from their peers brings a different ethos and atmosphere to the classroom as children react well to this.

Aims

The aim of this enquiry was to find out what effect praise had on pupils when it came from their peers rather than their teacher, focussing specifically on pupil motivation and pupil participation.

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