Saturday, 24 March 2018

Growth Mindset Messages in Maths

If students have a Growth Mindset in Maths it grows their Maths brains. Growth Mindset messages need to be reinforced at home and at school!

Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University says that when students are in a fixed mindset they see that effort means that they are dumb. When students are in a Growth Mindset they understand that the effort and difficulty will help them to get smarter. This is when their brains grow as they are making new connections and they are "really, really learning."

She says that praising student intelligence and talent is harmful. This puts them in a fixed mindset. It makes them afraid of challenge and less resilient when they make mistakes. If they have a fixed mindset, they only care about looking smart.

It is very important that parents and teachers praise the effort, the strategies that students use and the persistence that they show. This gives students a Growth Mindset. This helps students to overcome obstacles and stick with challenges when they are struggling.

We need to make sure that we are all using Growth Mindset messages in Maths (and also in other areas of the curriculum too).

These last few weeks, we have been really proud of our students who stuck with the challenge of designing their own "Greener Worser Bay School."

These students designed a bird feeder- this is their prototype

We have also been excited to see students celebrating mistakes in Number Talks. Some of them have even started to do a mistake dance when they get things wrong. It is great to see many of our students taking risks and having a go.

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