October 11

The Growth Mindset

Just one of the many benefits of working for the GDST is the fact that they are so forward thinking with their in-house training. A recent session on the A level pedagogy delivered some exceptionally useful facts about how students learn and also the conditions which are best for learning.

One point that made perfect sense to me centred around the Growth Mindset; it stated that Grit and a Growth Mindset is not enough. In fact it seems that practising more without getting results will probably erode beliefs about self-efficacy...children learn that they “can’t do it” if they are practising the wrong way. This concept was described by David Didau, author of “What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Psychology” and “Making Kids Cleverer”, during a recent researchEd conference in Malmo. Having examined a number of psychological studies delving into the reality of the Growth Mindset, he concludes that it is far more likely that Growth Mindset follows from experiencing success. As such we need to help students improve how they practice by initially giving them effective modelling and scaffolding, which should then be removed as soon as is feasible to prevent them from becoming dependant on it.

Happily in the Sixth Form we already have in place the A level Mindset Programme, which does just this. It helps us to teach our students the skills set needed in order to facilitate access and understanding of the A level curricula. From what we have seen, this programme really “does what it says on the tin”.

I am looking forward to the gems that will come from my next session at the GDST office!

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