Nicole Bowie

Primary Teacher

Chapelside Primary

  • Growth Mindset

What happens when we embrace mistakes as part of learning?

Rationale

The way we think about our learning often has an impact on how successful we are at achieving our goals. It is crucial that to be successful we must have a drive and motivation to do well. Motivation can be thought of as having two different functions; one measuring it as ‘keeping the action as intended’ and staying focused and the other being measured through ‘level of enthusiasm’ (McLean, 2003). In the classroom these are often the areas we measure against whether a pupil is a motivated learner however, as McLean states there is no such thing as an “unmotivated student” but some have more of a learning focus motivation than others and it is about shaping young learners mindsets to believe they can achieve and be successful. After discussing with my peer group the focus of growth mindset, in particular embracing mistakes, stood out as a key aspect which would be of benefit to focus on with young learners. As Carol Dweck and Jo Boaler (2015) discuss when a child is continually achieving and never making mistakes this is showing the work is too easy and suggesting it is something they already know. Pupils should want to be challenged and to do so they need to make mistakes to learn from them and have the resilience to try again until achieved.

Aims

The aim of this enquiry was to evaluate if embracing mistakes as part of learning had an impact on pupil motivation and engagement in the classroom.

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