Kez Komolafe

Primary Teacher

Baird Memorial Primary

  • Growth Mindset

What happens when specific ‘self-reliance’ time is introduced into the classroom?

Rationale

The area of Growth Mindset was chosen as a focus due to the realisation that children throughout all stages of their education can suffer from a lack of confidence when carrying out work individually. The introduction of time for children to work independently while thinking about developing a Growth Mindset was suggested to help encourage children’s ability to work alone. The ‘self-reliance’ time was suggested as a way to encourage that independence as children would be working with little help or support. It is important that children are aware of the power they have to make their minds grow and that they have the ability to progress academically (Saphier, 2017). If children perceive themselves as performing low academically and that their mind cannot grow then their learning will become static (Saphier, 2017). Carol Dweck, one of the leading researchers of Growth Mindset states that our brain has the capacity to grow when we put in effort to our learning. Dweck has identified two mindsets that people have: Fixed and Growth. A Fixed Mindset is the belief that intelligence is static and cannot be changed. A Growth Mindset is a person who believes, if they challenge themselves enough, their brain will grow and their learning will develop.

Dweck (2015) states that if teachers praise effort and motivation shown by the children then they are more likely to feel driven to work hard often resulting in a high quality of learning. Cooper (2016) discusses the significance of valuing learning and overcoming a challenge, changing from having a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset. Helping children develop a Growth Mindset can be helped through formative assessment (Clarke, 2008). Carrying out formative assessment in class and focussing on how the children learn helps foster creativity (Clarke, 2008).

Motivation can help you to succeed and have the ability to perceiver meaning you are more likely to achieve a desired outcome (Dweck, 2006). When promoting motivation in children you are also promoting self-esteem and self-reliance. It is the responsibility of a teacher to help foster children’s motivation and help them have a positive learning experience.

Aims

The aims of this study are as follows:

  • To see what happens when the idea of Growth Mindset is presented to the class.
  • To measure the impact of self-reliance time to pupils when carrying out activities.
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