Niamh McHugh

Physical Education

Cumbernauld Academy

  • Growth Mindset

What happens when we embrace mistakes as part of learning?


In order to meet the criteria for the GTCS probationer teachers must have knowledge and understanding of the importance of research and engagement in our professional enquiry. The group that I worked within chose to focus our professional enquiry on the topic of Growth Mindset. Psychologist Carol Dweck’s enquiry into Growth Mindset derived from interest in her student’s response to failure. She views Growth Mindset as a tool to enhance learning and success (Dweck and Dweck, 2006). Dweck (2012) states that “The Growth Mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome”. This would suggest that Growth Mindset allows people to look at their failures or development needs in a positive manner. Our group which consisted of both primary and secondary teachers wanted to embrace mistakes as part of learning and understand that everyone makes mistakes in the classroom. We hoped that this would improve the learning experience for pupils and allow them to gain confidence across all subjects. In order to implement this in my classroom I decided to conduct a four week enquiry with my S1 gymnastics class. Through conducting this professional enquiry, I felt I would not only enhance my own knowledge and understanding of varying professional practices, but also improve the learning.


The aim of this enquiry was to identify if there was an impact on pupils responses to embracing mistakes in the classroom. By embracing mistakes my group had hoped that pupils would start to look upon these in a positive manor by turning the focus into something that can be improved on rather than something negative which cannot be achieved.

Download Practitioner Enquiry