Understanding what motivates students to persevere in their learning is not a new endeavour however it is evident in schools that some children are adopting a fixed mindset in regards to their learning. With this, children lack motivation, engagement and effort. Learners with a fixed mindset believe their qualities are “set in stone” and will remain the exact same throughout their life. In contrast, learners with a growth mindset believe their basic qualities are flexible and can be cultivated through effort and learning.
This practitioner enquiry has a strong Growth Mindset focus; if we change student’s mindsets, we can boost their achievement (Dweck, 2006). The General Teaching Council for Scotland (2012) continues to stress the importance of positivity in the classroom. In relation, Dweck (2006) states that “no matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”
Formative feedback and assessment has been a strong focus within North Lanarkshire Council and is a powerful and important teaching tool that can have significant effect on learning. It is important to create a classroom culture in which all involved see ability as incremental rather than fixed which in turn relates to Dweck’s theory of Growth mindset. Formative feedback enables effective classroom dialogue and worthwhile questioning. It enables pupils to be effective self and peer evaluators as well as establishing continual opportunities for timely review and feedback from teachers and pupils, focusing on recognition of success and improvement needs, and provision of time to act on that feedback.
It is vital that pupils receive continuous effective feedback in order to grow in confidence and motivation and adopt a positive attitude towards their learning. It can significantly impact the way they approach their schoolwork. This is of critical importance because the greatest opportunities for learning and growth tend to involve some degree of challenge and failure along the way (Kaufman, 2013).
The aim of this enquiry was to discover the impact of Formative Feedback in a Growth Mind- set context on pupils’ attitudes and motivation.