Do you have a growth mindset?
As teachers, we can’t think about a growth mindset in our classrooms without asking ourselves some hard questions about our own attitudes to growth. Our own mindset can affect our responses to pupils and impact their outcomes.
We can probably all identify areas of our lives where we’re fixed, where we have a learned sense of helplessness or aren’t willing to venture out of our comfort zone to try something that doesn’t come easily to us.
In other areas, we might be more open to trying new things, venturing beyond what we already know. In these cases we expect that mistakes and perseverance will be part of the process — but we also feel that the struggle will be worth it.
If we have a fixed mindset we can also identify whether we see intelligence as a fixed quality which can’t be cultivated. We might be easily demotivated and discouraged by failure, or have a need to prove how smart or talented we are to validate ourselves and see success as getting everything right the first time.
In contrast, if we’re prepared to stretch ourselves to learn something new, to see our qualities as areas that can be developed and changed, to have a sense of becoming rather than being an accomplished expert already and to thrive on challenge then we’ll know we have a growth mindset.
Take some time to reflect on this.
What areas of your life spring to mind that you would identify as open to development (growth mindset) and others as closed to change (fixed mindset)?
How does this affect the classroom environment you create? Where would you like to be more open to a Growth Mindset?