1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Are you in favour of growth mindset?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    What are your views about growth mindset theory, developed by Stanford professor Carol Dweck?

    A recent study of more than 5,000 pupils revealed that lessons designed around the concept of growth mindset had no impact on the children's maths or reading results:

    ‘A major study of the use of growth mindset in schools in England has found that it made no difference to pupils’ English or maths results.

    Growth mindset, a concept developed by Stanford professor Carol Dweck, is the idea that an individual’s learning can be improved if they believe that their intelligence can grow through hard work.

    The theory has become popular in schools in England but is also controversial, with geneticist Robert Plomin claiming it is a “gimmick”.’

    Have your views changed?

  2. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    The EEF study has limitations in that it seeks to measure the two most heavily coached and resourced subjects and their assessments. Thus what the study revealed was that in terms of progress as defined by the study, growth mindset had no effect. It didn’t find that growth mindset didn’t have an effect, just not on the variable it identified.

    I think growth mindset is a load of hooey. I do believe in an aspirational narrative, in having intrinsic motivation, self regulation and metacognition. I think these lead to long term outcomes experiencing an uplift. However, those outcomes may not be statistically measurable using mass quantifiable methods. I accept those limitations and continue to teach using these methods even though I can’t evidence the outcomes using positivist methodology due to the epistemology clash.

    The EEF isn’t god. Its positivist mindset is already out of date. Its concept of medicalised RCTs is much criticised. It’s a legacy of Gove set up to shoot down progressive ideas about teaching and stick to marketable and saleable approaches to education - hence the rigid fixation with only measurable positivist outcomes.
    Jamvic, snowyhead, afterdark and 3 others like this.
  3. BTBAM85

    BTBAM85 New commenter

    Absolute nonsense. I won't go into the specifics of why I think it's nonsense, just like how years ago I wasted time talking about why brain gym is nonsense. No one talks about brain gym now, despite it being 'essential'. When I first said it was rubbish in a staff room in 2011 and silence fell and birds dropped out of the sky and blood started pouring from all the taps I knew the best thing to do was grin inanely and widely at all this garbage.

    Here's a growth mindset for you: 'concentrate and learn and do well and if you get stuck don't throw your pencil across the room yeah just try again 'cos life don't exactly get easier the older you get'

    Right, can I make money out of this?
  4. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Established commenter

    I had issues with it when it all came out. One was that schools used famous people as role models for having a growth mindset - Usain Bolt, Michael Jordan, David Beckham. I absolutely don't doubt they have fantastic attitudes and mindsets but they also have natural talent and ability. I could train all day everyday and I'd never beat Usain Bolt in a race.

    Another issue was that the message that we can all be an expert if were try hard is, in my opinion, wrong. I worked so hard at my science GCSE, doing extra homework, had a tutor and got a C. I was very pleased with this as I'd put extra effort in and never really understood science. I did very little work for my English GCSE and got an A. I just found science hard. I was never going to be as good as I was in English.

    I found sport quite easy and played cricket, rugby, football for school. I tried to learn an instrument - was rubbish! I am sure if I'd put the work in I could have got better at playing an instrument but I would never have got to a high standard.

    If the message you give children is this: "work hard, try your best and you can improve." then I don't have a problem. I think that's a good message. However most examples I came across were more "work hard and you can be an expert in whatever you want."
  5. WB

    WB Senior commenter

    It has nothing to offer over and above:

    If at first you don't succeed.
    Practice makes perfect.
    Positive mental attitude.

    All concepts that have been around for ages.

    Why do schools keep falling for this edubollocks?
  6. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Have you been reading this: https://learningspy.co.uk/psychology/growth-mindset-********/ ?

    Schools say that they believe in "growth mindset", but most of them are institutionally "fixed mindset", with their ability setting, predicted grades, "gifted and talented", etc.
    Jamvic, ATfan, lardylegs and 2 others like this.
  7. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Lead commenter

    It's been around years, it's not really that new. Call it what you will, but I do think there is something about our culture towards it being acceptable to say " I'm rubbish at maths" and that influencing how well you do. Isn't it like a self fulfilling prophecy, which has also been around years?
  8. WB

    WB Senior commenter

    I think the testing culture and the fact some kids are permanently classed as "below the expected standard" mean the system itself is making kids feel rubbish about themselves.

    At least with leveling kids could see progress. Now, no matter how hard they try, they'll always "below the expected standard"

    What a truely terrible label to attached to child. Why bother trying?

    Even if it worked (which it doesn't) no amount of growth could overcome that lump of disappointment.
    Jamvic, nervousned, snowyhead and 3 others like this.
  9. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    The rigid, stubborn adherence to the dogma of 'growth mindset' is in itself an indication of a fixed mindset, I think.
    Jamvic, nervousned, dunnocks and 5 others like this.
  10. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    Yes progress flight paths cause much anxiety.
  11. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    What a terrible thing to inflict on a child.
    WB likes this.
  12. powerpointdave

    powerpointdave New commenter

    I read one of her books before attending some related training. I found her comments on depression highly insulting.

    The training might as well have been about knitting fog - but that might just be my closed mindset preventing me from understanding fully.
  13. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Yep, well done growth mindset in a nutshell. Got to admire Dweck; another on my list of people who make money out of old hats! VAK people, Kagan, Pivotal, Brain Gym.
    Jamvic, ATfan, lardylegs and 2 others like this.
  14. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Oh, oh, Thinking Hats! Lol!
    Jamvic, BetterNow, ATfan and 2 others like this.
  15. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    'Future Learn', a normally sane and useful organisation, yesterday asked on F/B what my learning style is.
    My response wasn't overly polite.
    yodaami2, ATfan and bonxie like this.
  16. WB

    WB Senior commenter

    I've seen thinking hats come a go a few times as well... give me strength!!!
  17. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    Personally I feel it is a concept that is a marketing ploy and used and distorted as yet another stick to beat teachers with. If you, as a teacher, are struggling to cope with an initiative or struggling to cope with seeing the point of the initiative, then it will be all about YOU being at fault for not having a “positive mindset”. The greatest proponents of it are often leaders who have a completely closed mind to diversity of practice and an inability to look at impact properly. No room for discussion cos their way is the right way and we lesser mortals who beg to differ are the new heretics - those negative folks with closed mindsets. Actually it’s the complete opposite but we are powerless to make them see that.
    Jamvic, BetterNow, Morgelyn and 5 others like this.
  18. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    People who offer training on any new initiative should have to provide proof (carried out by independent scientific bodies) that what they are offering actually has significant positive impact on learners. At the moment it just seems like anyone with the gift of the gab can easily persuade those in control of school/education authority budgets that their latest initiative will work like magic. Jumping on these bandwagons is very expensive for schools but a complete waste of money and time.
    BetterNow and ATfan like this.
  19. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    Absolutely. My last Head promoted growth mindset as her big initiative when she was appointed. It soon became oppressive, a way of stifling any criticism or even mild objections. A 'can do' ethos led to a policy in which lots of non-academic students were compelled to take GCSE subjects in which they struggled and either failed or dropped out of. This was tied in to Progress 8 , of course, but it was counter productive as tens of students under performed. More importantly, it was disastrous for the students themselves who were basically conned into thinking they could pass several subjects for which they had little aptitude.
  20. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    To be fair, this is what the research was trying to establish. One major problem is that some of those people in charge of schools want a quick off the shelf approach that all teachers can follow to improve the attainment results. So when some research comes up with some promising idea, then out come lots of snake oil salesmen to package up and sell this idea to these schools. Often overselling its usefulness. What they always fail to take into account are the limitations and that it often isn't a one size fits all solution.
    Grandsire and ATfan like this.

Share This Page