Not directly on topic but I saw two secondaries this week and was put off by the philosophies of both - one seemed obsessed with "growth mindsets" and the other "gifted and talented". Both seemed highly dubious to me.
We've done a lot of growth mindset work in our primary. It's been really successful in that our kids now tell us "I can't do this YET" instead of " I can't do this." They tell us that they've failed but failing is learning. It's not pseudo science gibberish, it's something kids can get behind and get confidence from.
I think it's useful to think about using a growth mindset in the classroom. There are definitely a lot of children who think things like 'I'm no good at maths' 'I can't draw' 'There's no point trying because I'll never be able to do x.'
I absolutely believe that we can all improve at things if we practise. We don't all have the same abilities and talents but with patience we can acquire most skills. So yes, I do think that there's something in 'growth' mindset, not just pseudoscience!
I think that as long as UK children continue to be placed on "ability tables" in schools, any discussion about growth mindset is clearly superficial and has not really been embedded. Silly posters on the wall don't mean anything.
I live in a country which is often extolled for its "growth mindset" about education. It does result in stronger academics, so I am in favor (cautiously. And to an extent).
However, it's important to understand that there are tradeoffs in life and that a culture with a stronger growth mindset involves some downsides as well. Kids are pushed harder, and that involves more tutoring and extra work with parents over holidays, weekends and so on; school is often less fun. Moderate SEN students perhaps have a harder and less sympathetic time. Significant SEN means you will go into the SEN education stream. Anyone wanting to change the culture in schools needs to grasp that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
One more thing: in countries where there is more of a "growth mindset" (loosely defined), people do not spend time talking about this in lessons or having silly "growth mindset" days/sessions/themed assemblies which appear to be yet another way of wasting curriculum time, as far as I can see. They spend lesson time getting on with doing the actual work in question--maths or literacy or whatever.
My DD and her friends are fed up of hearing about it at primary school. It's become a tedious joke to them.
If rather the time spent on talking about, acting it out, drawing posters, writing strategy, was spent on teaching. It seems to put a lot of responsibility on children and take it away from the adult educators and other external factors.
The idea that if you keep on trying instead of giving up when you make mistakes then you will get better is obvious. It doesn't need any questionnaires to find your mindset, nor mindset interventions to try to change your mindset from a bad one to a good one. It just needs gentle encouragement, specific instruction in whatever it is needing to be learned and a reminder that there was a time when you couldn't ride a bike but you got back on after you fell off, and now you can do it.
People are confusing common sense teaching methods with a specific piece of work putting people into different groups and an intervention which Carole Dweck has said that is too delicate to be replicated by experts (more likely it doesn't work) and is therefore totally useless when it comes to classroom interventions.
"If rather the time spent on talking about, acting it out, drawing posters, writing strategy, was spent on teaching. It seems to put a lot of responsibility on children and take it away from the adult educators and other external factors."
I think that sums it up in a nutshell.
If working hard is good then do more "working hard," not more making posters!
And while kids do have a responsibility to work hard, parents and teachers also have a responsibility to teach them properly. If a kid from a deprived background struggled with literacy because of a weak vocabulary connected with a difficult home environment, the appropriate response is to make stronger efforts to fill in their vocabulary gap, not to just say "You're not making enough effort! Try harder!"