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'Growth Mindset'

(32 Posts)
MerryMarigold Tue 14-Nov-17 13:34:26

Introduced by newish HT.

AIBU to eye roll? [Sounds like a lot of David Bannerish type stuff]

Or is it genuinely good?

Sirzy Tue 14-Nov-17 13:37:19

My ds primary school has just introduced it. I had a long chat to the head this morning about it and I thought it sounded very good. More about encouraging a more positive way of thinking and making that part of the system in the school for staff and pupils

countrybump Tue 14-Nov-17 13:44:57

Genuinely good - if they are actually cultivating a growth mindset rather than just talking about it!

It's about learning to learn and not using a fear of failure as a reason not to attempt something.

My DC primary school has this - one thing I've noticed is that my children are keen to try new things and are more resilient. They never say 'I can't do that' or 'I'm no good at that' but say 'I can't do that YET' and are encouraged to find a way to help them be able to do it.

It's basically changing the way they look at a situation. I suppose seeing opportunities rather than barriers?

'Growth mindset' is a phrase that screams David Brent though, I agree!!

EducationOpinionsRUs Tue 14-Nov-17 14:03:39

Genuinely good, and really important - but often misunderstood and badly supported, and not helped by the fact that its best-known proponent (Carol Dweck) tends to oversimplify (e.g. the neuroscience) and oversell (e.g. slip into denying that there are differences in how good people are at things).

Well done, it can help people see difficulties as opportunities, that let them learn to do stuff they couldn't do before, rather than as a sign they should give up. It's hard to overstate how important that is!

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Nov-17 14:34:28

I assumed this was a zombie thread because Growth Mindset is so three years ago.

It's bobbins. Non-replicable bobbins.

Telling people that if they put effort in instead of giving up they can actually get better is what teachers have been doing forever. Growth Mindset is pseudo-science tied up around that notion that labels people in a manner similar to VAK with questionnaires.

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Nov-17 14:45:18

David Banner is the Hulk! David Brent, that's the one...thanks Sirzy.

I wondered about whether it's bobbins or not - and just a lot of stock 'phrases'. Ds1 can have a bit of an 'I can't do it' attitude so maybe that's good, working hard and trying at everything is a good attitude to have. But equally I believe in focusing on what you're good at, rather than putting tons and tons of effort into something which isn't your natural talent and ending up average at it.

Giraffe, if it's so 3 years ago, then what's new, man?

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Nov-17 14:47:20

Sorry, thanks countrybump

Eolian Tue 14-Nov-17 14:53:58

It depends on how far you take the idea imo. I was convinced I 'couldn't do' maths and science at school. Looking back, I just specialised too early, encouraged by my anti-mathsy-subjects DM. Dd is convinced she is irrevocably shit at music and sport, so she doesn't try.

However, I think that the idea that no ability or intelligence is innate is utter bollocks. I have taught many, many children who could not have become doctors, lawyers or rocket scientists however much enthusiasm or can-do attitudes they might have had.

CamperVamp Tue 14-Nov-17 15:56:40

Our school got into it.

As a parent I found it was helpful in learning to talk and respond, the difference between ‘well done, you are really good at maths’ and ‘well done, you have worked hard at maths’, and how to ask critical questions (in my old training we called it ‘the teaching question ‘.

NobleGiraffe, I have no doubt good teachers have been doing all this for yonks, but parents don’t necessarily come with pedagogy.

onewhitewhisker Tue 14-Nov-17 16:56:48

replication is a big problem with lots of social psychology.

The Dweck stuff i have read didn't deny there was such a thing as innate ability or say that anyone could achieve anything. in fact i thought one of the most interesting bits was her analysis of mindsets in high-ability sportspeople - claiming that some went further than others with more ability because of mindset factors. Different from claiming we could all be a world-class tennis player if only we had the right attitude. i agree there's a lot of speculation though.

My Ds's school got into it too when he was around 8. i was pretty sceptical but it was interesting to see how fixed his mindset was on the questionnaires they gave, and it did correlate well with how he approaches things he struggles with. Something seems to have shifted for him, though, whether that's to do with a year of GM stuff i can't say. I felt the problem was not so much the model as how it had been co-opted into the education system - in a simplistic, answer-to-everything way that I'm not surprised has teachers rolling their eyes! Also, much of the education system is fixed mindset in itself - ultimately focused on levels you do or don't hit - so there's an inherent contradiction.

I thought her points about fear of failure /exposure in high achieving children (because if you don't get the grades/get into a particular school/uni etc, it will mean you're not as intelligent as people thought) were interesting, though, and rang quite true from my experience.

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Nov-17 17:47:16

replication is a big problem with lots of social psychology.

Well that just means it's totally useless in the classroom doesn't it? 'I did this great experiment with amazing results but when I repeat it, I don't get amazing results'. You can't shrug and say that's social psychology for you and continue to waste time on it.

Dweck's reasoning for the amazing results not being forthcoming in the real world is that it's too delicate and complicated. That's also useless.

onewhitewhisker Tue 14-Nov-17 17:59:45

noblegiraffe yes i agree with you, just saying that Dweck's is far from the only well-hyped research with this problem.

lljkk Tue 14-Nov-17 19:54:51

DS has been told for years by school that he has "anger issues". He has a very fixed mindset about that & sees it as a fixed part of his personality. Cheers, school, that's just peachy. I don't imagine your new "Growth Mindset" initiative is going to cover this label, is it.

museumum Tue 14-Nov-17 20:00:50

In my experience it’s a useful way to deal with a certain type of student. The perfectionist who won’t try something new unless they already know they’ll be good at it.
It’s about valuing the experience and process of trying so nothing not the output. Since this is desperately lacking in our system in general it can be a useful counter balance.

But OMG I’ve seen it applied so badly at times!!!

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Nov-17 20:04:27

I'll try not to have fixed mindset about it then. Aha ha ha. We'll see if it changes ds1. He is a lot happier at secondary than he was at primary, that's for sure. But he's not a high achiever.

disahsterdahling Tue 14-Nov-17 20:25:08

I can see the value in it. When our head started talking about it I started shuffling uncomfortably on my seat as I know flippin well that I have a closed mindset. So does DH really so DS has no chance, really.

I feel very much at my age I know if I am good at things or not. I am not really into the idea of being stretched at work - I'd rather do what I know I can do well even if it's a bit boring because I know I won't get sacked. Whereas if I cock up something that is too difficult for me, I'll be out on my ear.

But for kids I think it can be quite valuable and of course they are not out on their ear if they fail although they may not get the grades they want for the course they want, but there's no problem in aiming high. It annoys me a bit when people say " you can be anything you want to be" because that's rubbish. I like running, I can train and train and train but I will never run as fast as Mo Farah however much I believe I can. However, I can of course get as good as I can be for me - and that's a mindset that is worth instilling in kids.

CamperVamp Tue 14-Nov-17 21:08:18

"In my experience it’s a useful way to deal with a certain type of student. The perfectionist who won’t try something new unless they already know they’ll be good at it.
It’s about valuing the experience and process of trying"

My eldest, who is now a high performing, high achieving child, was very slow to learn to read in school - which surprised me. Then I realised that they were doing word recognition, which relies on a lot of guessing. He hated guessing, because of the chance of getting it wrong. When they switched to phonics, the tools with which to solve a challenge by yourself, he got it immediately.

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Nov-17 21:10:46

Even the TES has slated Growth Mindset, I really thought it was officially over.

Larksrising Tue 14-Nov-17 21:18:28

Why rubbishing a mindset that promotes self belief and self esteem? In professional life, at work, growth mindset is de rigueur.

Why can't children have growth minset? Inconvinient to teachers?

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Nov-17 21:21:24

Larks As it says in the TES article "Carol Dweck told me that they don’t have a single example of a school successfully changing pupils’ mindsets.”"

So what's the point in 'promoting' a growth mindset as something awesome if it can't be changed? Any work spent on mindsets is a waste of time that would be better spent actually doing the work that needs improving.

Larksrising Tue 14-Nov-17 22:22:18

Of course it can, children are born to grow into accomlished well rounded , great people. It is the school experience and maybe teachers, that cut their wings.

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Nov-17 22:23:52

Larks I'm not sure what you've just said has anything to do with Growth Mindset.

Larksrising Tue 14-Nov-17 22:24:54

There is un ethical problem with teaches oposing growth mindset of children. It is unetical. How about telling your own child to not believe in his potential and growth. Arg, it is easy because those are someone else's children.

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Nov-17 22:26:48

Growth Mindset is pseudo-science.

Of course teachers want kids to work hard at stuff, that's not Growth Mindset, that's common sense.

Larksrising Tue 14-Nov-17 22:33:34

Growth mindset is a mindset. It is commom sense.

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