Shirley Craney


Airdrie Academy

  • Growth Mindset

What Happens When Mistakes Are Celebrated In The Classroom?


This enquiry will focus on how pupils respond towards making mistakes. There will be a discussion on the variety of reactions pupils report in relation to making mistakes. During recent observation of pupils` work, it was evident that they did not answer certain questions. Through class discussions and individual verbal feedback, pupils made it clear that they would avoid answering a question rather than make a mistake. Clearly, such responses are reflective of: “a fixed-mindset which implies that we believe our attributes and abilities are inherently fixed and unchanging. ” (Zolfagharifard, 2015). This enquiry will consider how growth mindset is linked with pupil response to making mistakes. For this enquiry: ““Growth mindset” is the name given by psychologist Carol Dweck to the idea that intelligence can develop, and that effort leads to success.” (Guardian, 2016). Therefore, in terms of how Growth Mindset can improve how children feel, Dweck said it would enable them to: “thrive on challenges and setbacks on their way to learning”(Dweck, 2015). In essence, mistakes can be viewed as an essential part of the learning journey. During this enquiry, I will report on the effects of promoting an environment where pupils are encouraged to use strategies to improve their skills. As the Class Teacher I will encourage pupils to feel comfortable if they make a mistake.


In effect, the main aim of this enquiry was to promote the concept of the classroom as a learning environment where mistakes were regarded as an important part of their development. Therefore, pupils would understand that mistakes are valued within education. Within this process pupils would have the opportunity to become more aware of areas they find challenging and to evaluate progress made. It was envisaged that a possible outcome at the end of the enquiry would involve pupils feeling more comfortable about making mistakes and understand how they had reached that point. Furthermore, this could improve performance in other areas of the curriculum through their improved mindset within tasks in English.

Download Practitioner Enquiry