Louise Lawlor

Primary Teacher

St Brendan's Primary School

  • Growth Mindset

What happens when I welcome mistakes in the classroom?

Rationale

To begin with it is important to state the reasoning behind our enquiry. In our group, we all discussed the challenge of encouraging children to embrace mistakes in the classroom. From our experience as leaders in learning, we all agreed that the learners often show anxiety about answering out in fear of getting the answer wrong. In the primary sector, the curricular area in which we all felt was most associated with anxiety and fear of making mistakes was mathematics. Based on this assumption, we decided to implement Growth Mindset strategies into the day to day learning and teaching of mathematics, monitoring the pupil response to this over a period of 4 weeks. Psychologist Carol Dweck’s fascination with Growth Mindset derived from her interest in her students’ response to failure. She views Growth Mindset as a tool to enhance learning and success (Dweck and Dweck, 2006). With this in mind, we agreed to explore Growth Mindset strategies within our own classrooms to evaluate the impact it had on pupil attitude towards making mistakes.

Aims

The aim of my enquiry was to investigate the impact of Growth Mindset in relation to mathematics. By implementing Growth Mindset strategies coupled with an ethos of embracing mistakes in mathematics I aimed to find out more about pupil confidence and attitude towards learning in this curricular area.

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