The Growth Mindset and Your Child
Having a growth mindset is credited for setting the achievers apart from the non-achievers, for developing a can-do attitude and a love for learning in students.
Mindset is Important
Life is filled with obstacles, and it is no different when it comes to school and studying.
Students may have begun formal education with high energy levels and lots of enthusiasm but lose interest when faced with setbacks. Or perhaps they have had little success academically and have convinced themselves that they are simply not good at school.
Even the best and most dedicated of students may lose focus and motivation along the way for a myriad of reasons.
How then, to get your child motivated and keep him motivated? According to one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation, Stanford psychologist Professor Carol Dweck, the answer to that may all be in adopting the right mindset.
Her research discusses two types of mindsets: growth and fixed. People with a growth mindset, she says, are able to embrace a challenge, and are able to persevere even when they fail.
Individuals with a fixed mindset, on the other hand, avoid challenges, and are quick to accept defeat. They are less ready to be accepting of criticism and unlike those with a growth mindset, feel threatened by the successes of others.
Importance of a Growth Mindset
In today’s ever changing, incredibly fast paced world, children are faced with new challenges every day. Perhaps because of the dynamism and fluidity of life as it is now, it becomes more important than ever that children adopt a growth mindset.
When children understand that they can ‘train’ their brains to get smarter – and intelligence is something that they can hone and develop over time through hard work – they tend to do better at school because their approach to learning is different.
Having a growth mindset benefits children because of the way it fuels their motivation. It helps them to understand that persistence, effort and determination will help them to succeed and achieve their goals. It teaches them that it is okay to set lofty goals, and that they are not limited by what they may think of themselves.
This encourages them to aspire and go beyond what they believe they are capable of, and to not be afraid of failure.
How to Encourage a Growth Mindset
Helping our children develop a growth mindset requires time and practice, as well as a deliberate effort from us as parents. The good news is there are many ways that we can easily integrate it into our lives.
Embrace positive thinking. Change the way that our children view the learning process. We can encourage them to view challenges and obstacles as fun and exciting, and easy tasks as boring and mundane.
Avoid praising intelligence. Praising intelligence reinforces the idea that intelligence is a fixed trait. Children with fixed mindsets tend to believe that if they are not born with a talent, there is no point trying, and they stop putting in effort.
Emphasise that struggling is normal. Normalising struggle is important because it emphasises that it is part of the learning process. When we reinforce that idea, it helps our children have a more positive reaction when they are faced with challenges.
Set incremental goals. Scale down big goals and have children ‘level up’ on them instead. For example, instead of having your child set a big goal to score a 90 out of 100 for mathematics, break it down over a period of time into smaller, attainable goals. Start with a ‘70’, and then progress to an ‘80’, and eventually the big ‘90’. Doing this shows children that their dreams are attainable and allows them to take pride in their growth and progress.
Cognitus Academy believes in the importance of having a growth mindset and the idea that children can adopt a growth mindset at any time of life. Our Critical Reading and Writing framework for English and DEPTH framework for mathematics are designed specifically to encourage a positive and interactive approach to learning, and our teachers are trained to bring out the best in every child.
Our class sizes are kept deliberately small to ensure that we are aware of every child’s needs and abilities. This ensures that your child gets the attention that he or she deserves. Our staff are most happy to chat with you at 8321 8252 should you require more information on our programme and teaching methods.