Today Mr Greg Mitchell spent the day at St Emilie’s in our specialist classrooms and then after school with staff to share some valuable professional development.
One of the many interesting ideas we explored was the importance of supporting children (and ourselves as adults) to develop a GROWTH mindset.
Research shows that a student’s belief about their intelligence plays an important role in their school achievement, and that parents and teachers can positively influence the development of these beliefs.
Students who believe their intelligence is simply a fixed trait fare more poorly, especially as school becomes more challenging, than students who believe their intellectual abilities can grow. When students are taught the growth-oriented view—they show an increase in their enjoyment of learning and in their grades.
What can parents do?
Praise the process – children’s effort or strategies—creates eagerness for challenges, persistence in the face of difficulty, and enhanced performance.
Next time you are tempted to tell your child that he or she is the next Einstein or future Picasso, stop yourself. Instead, take the time to appreciate the effort they put into their work, not what the work means about their innate brains or talent.
Ask them how they went about something and show them how you appreciate their choices, their thinking process, or their persistence.
Ask them about strategies that didn’t work and what they learned from them.
When they make mistakes, use these mistakes as an opportunity for teaching them to come up with new strategies.
When they do something quickly, easily, and perfectly, do not tell them how great they are. Tell them, “I’m sorry I wasted your time on something too easy for you. Let’s do something more challenging that you can learn from.”
Look for ways to convey your valuing of effort, perseverance, and learning—rather than some empty display of ability. Instead of false confidence in fixed ability, these methods will foster a deeper appreciation for the true ingredients of achievement.
It is now abundantly clear that brains and talent alone don’t bring success. The work of Benjamin Bloom and of Anders Ericsson shows clearly that people of outstanding accomplishment—be it in science, the arts, or athletics–are often no more talented than many of their peers. In fact, their peers who seemed most brilliant at the start often turned out to achieve very little. This is most likely because, believing too much in the power of their brains and talent, they did not put in the effort that all great accomplishment requires.
In short, believing in brains or talent as something fixed and all-powerful works against long-term success in school, careers, and life in general.
Let’s all become more mindful about HOW and WHAT we say to our children so that we can develop a GROWTH MINDSET in school and in life!