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Mindset in the Classroom

Here are some tips based on Carol Dweck's Theory of intelligence for use in the classroom. These tips could apply to anyone working with young people.

Teach the material and then refer to it at appropriate times.  You can download one of our powerpoint slideshows and teach students about mindsets.  If you refer to the material at appropriate times then it will help children to 'live' a growth mindset.  For example, enourage students to notice the goals they are setting i.e. performance v.s. learning and the responses the have to failure and challenge i.e. helpless v.s. mastery.   

Model a growth mindset: Children pay attention to what adults do and learn from them.  People adopting a growth mindset will give more constructive feedback when another person is stuck, this is because they believe that people can learn and improve.

Describe the behaviour, not the person: DO not label them - E.g. instead of saying 'Your lazy' tell the young person that they are not putting in enough effort. Phrasing criticism in this way allows the person to see what they are capable of doing things differently.  (In other words, give criticism from a growth, rather than a fixed, mindset) This allows all people the chance to improve and learn

Provide material with alternative strategies:  Carol Dweck has shown that people with a growth mindset pay attention to learning information.  This means that when a person fails they will be looking for information to help them learn.  Providing alternative startegies and useful feedback will help people to get 'unstuck' when faced with a difficult problem

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