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Growth Mindset = BOBBINS

(21 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sat 14-Jan-17 14:17:26

I posted a thread about False Growth Mindset recently, and how Growth Mindset proponents are desperately trying to scrabble about for reasons to explain why Growth Mindset interventions aren't showing the spectacular improvements that were promised.

I've just come across this interesting article on Buzzfeed which breaks down further problems with Growth Mindset, with replicating the original studies and statistical analysis problems with the data.

I found it interesting in the article that Growth Mindset proponents are also suggesting that to achieve Growth Mindset effects requires expert intervention and huge amounts of careful preparation to explain why mere classroom teachers aren't able to achieve the spectacular results promised (or perhaps it's just balls?).

Can we please stop putting children into boxes according to their 'mindset', toxic or good? Bloody questionnaires, posters, tick boxes.

I want growth mindset to go the same way as learning styles.

HPFA Sat 14-Jan-17 16:21:42

Learning Style always seemed like rubbish to me whereas Growth Mindset does seem to have a core of common sense - that if you keep working at something you'll likely get better at it?

noblegiraffe Sat 14-Jan-17 16:35:17

Obviously if you work hard at something instead of giving up you will get better at it, but Growth Mindset is about dividing people into sheep and goats. People who have a growth mindset, and those that don't. Questionnaires to decide who is which. Interventions to try to persuade those with the 'wrong' mindset to try to become the other mindset.

Then you have the grim idea that if you aren't good at something it's because your mindset is wrong, and that everyone can become good at everything.

There's lot of stuff tied up with Growth Mindset that seems to make sense - a fear of failure being a big issue for students is one of them.

But someone being either Mindset A or Mindset B is just bollocks.

DullUserName Sat 14-Jan-17 17:01:40

I suspect that 'mindfulness' will go the same way too.

Is there a big box full of old education fads, like Brain Gym, learning styles and the obsession with Bloom's Taxonomy?

scaryclown Sat 14-Jan-17 17:09:54

its bollocks and from sciemtology or whatever BUT ..I say this as someone who is not a sheep but has suffered from the odd frightened behaviour of a lot of the population who believe, reinforces and police their own narrow minded world view. its frightening how many people are happy with 'shit job whatever boss wamts to pay' tv, sleep, repeat. and get REALLY aggressive when anything threatens to wake them.up from that. there are people at my work who are so self-meficated/imprisoned that they still watch the same game shows they watched when they started the job un the 80s.. its more lile an open prison than a society. BUT its the whole complex web NOT just an individuals 'problem' mindset...

scaryclown Sat 14-Jan-17 17:17:22

Also this is the same crap that leads to the thick kids getting loads of awards for achieving low aspirations (reinforcing a limited mindset) by not achievimg for a long time ..but 'trying' where attainment is unrewarded because you are seen as 'not tryimg'

its true that learning to work at things is usefull.. but recognising things you dont feel you have worked for..but have.. as positive is VERY important.

The main problem is not that individuals do or dont have a 'growth mindset' its that most of society is designed so having a growth mi dset is a hinderance and attracks resentment.

mrz Sat 14-Jan-17 19:55:53

Curioushorse Sat 14-Jan-17 20:00:16

To be fair, Carol Dweck never suggested putting people into categories. From memory, her stuff just seems to be about drawing our attention towards the power of language use in terms of motivation. I suspect it's schools trying to simplify it and measure it which are making it a bit dodgy.

SarahMused Sat 14-Jan-17 20:13:25

No, curioushorse, the point the author is making is that the research is statistically dodgy and her experiments are not replicable. We should not be inflicting this on students. Her 'Mindset' book was given to all the teachers in my school - the examples used in it to demonstrate fixed and growth mindset are laughable. The students saw through it immediately - just the use of the word 'yet' is enough to have them rolling their eyes.

HPFA Sat 14-Jan-17 20:48:31

Someone's list of educational fads here:

I wonder if many of these things have an element of usefulness in them? But their proponents wildly exaggerate the benefits?

LooseAtTheSeams Sat 14-Jan-17 23:25:01

Some of them do have some usefulness, especially if, like me, you have three hour lessons (Access and GCSE). Group work and planning starters, middles and ends help to keep what would be a very long lesson moving and ensure everyone takes part. But this is FE, not school.
If we have a long poem or short story, parcelling it out to pairs of students ensures they all do some work. That was how I was taught at A level in 1984-5! But it's crucial to do short bursts and make them report back to the whole class and I do chip in to correct mistakes or expand a point.
I did point out to a class that I could do most of the talking for three hours but they wouldn't pay much attention!
However, I have never seen the point of making a big deal about learning objectives.
I think what is really annoying for teachers is to be criticised for 'teacher talk' if you're doing it to help the students e.g. In a revision class, or to give them some much-needed explanations and context.
I would never talk to my FE students about their growth mindset. Many of them are there despite massive odds and things that are beyond their control. I do tell them that my experience shows exam success is directly linked to turning up to all my lessons and doing the work I set!

noblegiraffe Sun 15-Jan-17 01:03:04

I had a notion that I posted about Growth Mindset years ago so I did a search and found this post from 2014

noblegiraffe Wed 10-Dec-14 22:39:02
Actually, putting my head in the sand and ignoring new initiatives has been a pretty good teaching tactic for me so far. The amount of stuff that I could have been an enthusiastic early adopter for that was then shelved or found to be balls has saved me from wasting time on two different VLEs, VAK learning, iPads in the classroom and loads of other minor stuff. I'm currently waiting out 'growth mindset'.

noblegiraffe Sun 15-Jan-17 12:06:11

Interesting article here about the flaws in the idea of a mindset even before whether you consider that the statistical analysis might be an issue:

Curioushorse the article says
"It is vital to Dweck’s theory – a theory currently attracting millions of pounds of education funding in the UK – that beliefs are entities in the mind/brain of the individual. Dweck urges teachers to spur their students to success by concentrating on their “mindsets.” On page 16 of her Mindset book she writes: “You have a choice. Mindsets are just beliefs. They’re powerful beliefs, but they’re just something in your mind, and you can change your mind.” Beliefs/mindsets are properties of the individual. Her writing is replete with references to children “putting themselves” into one mindset or the other, or being “placed into” the growth mindset by a teacher or by psychologists working on Dweck’s “Brainology” programme."

So it seems Dweck is very much about labelling children based on their mindset and not just about use of language in talking to them about their learning.

I'm glad it also mentions Boaler, her ideas about maths learning sometimes seem a bit bonkers.

fuckweasel Sun 15-Jan-17 12:52:09

HPFA Just sat reading that list of teaching fads from the blog, nodding and sighing into my coffee. I remember the horror of the A3 APP sheet of outcomes (filled with about font size 6 text) stuck on my desk and trying to keep track of how to assess my KS3 students meaningfully. NOT happy days!

noblegiraffe Sun 15-Jan-17 13:05:58

We keep falling for this bullshit in teaching. Always searching for the quick fix to improve results.

DullUserName Sun 15-Jan-17 13:17:45

Sadly, the Heads buy into each new fad and insist on seeing the evidence in observations. Failure to implement the fad, or worse still, any attempt to question or challenge the fad, is seen as a challenge to the Head's authority and is dealt with as such.

So bloody pleased I got out last year!

noblegiraffe Sun 15-Jan-17 14:37:33

I remember when learning objectives started and we were told that each lesson had to start with 'all must, most should, some could'
Then it changed to learning outcomes which are something different. Then they were supposed to be visible all lesson, so special whiteboards were ordered to put next to the main whiteboard and these should be handwritten for every lesson.

I still don't understand what I'm meant to be writing, so I don't. I don't even know if we are still supposed to. confused

user1484226561 Sun 15-Jan-17 17:02:42

noble giraffe, students in my daughters school went on learning objective strike, and put their pens down and refused to pick them up if learning objectives were visible.

LooseAtTheSeams Mon 16-Jan-17 18:01:39

Oh! I love the idea of a learning objective strike - well done those students!
I don't put LOs on any board. They seem to be on powerpoints when I'm given them by other teachers. I put them on the lesson plan if I'm observed but that's it. On my teacher training course I asked if there was any evidence that putting them up for students had any impact at all on their understanding. My tutor said he had no idea, life was too short to find out and he personally never bothered with them!
I don't mark in different coloured biros either but I don't think that ever got to FE!

JustRichmal Wed 18-Jan-17 07:51:38

I don't think there is any problem with saying that students with the optimistic attitude that they can succeed will do better than those of the same ability with the defeatist attitude that they will fail. By the sounds of it, the problem is making it into a learning fad which is rolled out across the country in the form of more pointless paperwork.
There is also research that shows it does not matter what education a child gets, it will make very little difference to their ability or exam results. I sometimes wonder about the rigour of educational research and if it is a case of finding evidence to prove what you believe.

noblegiraffe Wed 18-Jan-17 11:04:05

Someone who works hard and doesn't give up will do better than someone of the same starting ability who slacks off and gives up.

But I've taught far too many coasting slackers in top set who nonetheless collect top grades to believe that mindset is that important.

Jo Boaler bangs on about how everybody is capable to learning maths to the highest level. I expect we are all capable of competing in the olympics as well hmm

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