If you have a child in a primary school ‘growth mindsets in the classroom’ is probably a phrase you have heard this term. But do you understand what it means and how to develop a growth mindset? It is not a new thing but how to develop a growth mindset is having a resurgence, a bit of a moment in primary schools. In this post, I want to share some ideas, on how to develop a growth mindset in your little one. However growth mindsets are not just for children and they can have a positive impact on adults too.
A mindset is a simple idea discovered by psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success. It is a simple idea that makes all the difference to sustained learning. Dweck suggests that by saying ability is based on talent and brain power, is actually damaging, as it suggests that it is a fixed thing that cannot be changed. Instead we need to understand that having an open mind or a growth mindset is what actually allows individuals to flourish and continue to learn. All the best academics, sportspeople, parents and teachers know that having a growth mindset enables hard work and dedication, which in turn, ensures success.
If we only believe in talent there is no purpose for training and hard work as the outcome is fixed. However, learning this can be a game changer for people. My teen smashed her GCSE’s and this was because she has a growth mindset. She worked hard and kept going and the results speak for themselves. When children are younger it can be a challenge to ensure they have this belief and that they realise they can change things. True potential is not a given and may not be seen in early years. There are countless tales of how passion, hard work and effort have made people successful. There are so many stories of people who failed many times before achieving success.
How to develop a growth mindset in six easy steps:
- Tell your children they can do it and praise effort. As parents we have the responsibility to encourage our children, we need to tell them to never give up.
- Model your own success to your children. When you finally achieve something that you have worked on – tell your children, let them see that determination and hardwork pays off. This could be making something or learning a new skill. When you have mastered it show and tell your children. Let them see how pleased you are.
- Have inspirational messages in your home and classroom. We have some fab wall art with positive quotes and my children read these subliminal messages everyday.
- Watch films that show this growth mindset ideas including Bend It Like Beckham, Cool Runnings, Zootopia.
- Encourage risk, tell your children it is ok to make mistakes as that is where the learning takes place. Encourage your children to step out of their comfort zone and try new things.
- Teach children that the brain is a muscle that can keep developing. Play games that support this games like crosswords and memory games are great starting points. Tell your children when you see they have learnt something new.
So keep using these methods and you will help your children to be the best version of themselves.
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