Nurturing Amazing Minds: Developing a Growth Mindset

October 28, 2021

Being a parent can sometimes feel like a huge responsibility, especially when it comes to looking after our children’s amazing minds. At Explore, we have discovered that the key to unlocking a child’s potential is to look beyond what a child is learning and focus on how they are doing it.

“The best thing parents can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning.”
Carol S Dweck

Child playing with building blocks

Approaching new challenges

Take a moment to think about how your child approaches new challenges; are they hesitant or do they dive straight in?

Learning to love challenges is a key part of a child’s education and will support them through their time at school and beyond. This is where the idea of fearless learning comes from. 

 

Did you know?

“Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset.”
Dweck, 2016

 

The Power of ‘yet

The Power of ‘yet’ is an understanding that our abilities can grow and develop with hard work and perseverance. It’s about approaching a problem and saying ‘I don’t know how to do that yet’. Rather than ‘I can’t do that’.

Does your child approach learning with the power of yet?

Telling a child they haven’t achieved something yet gives power to the future and helps them see a learning path, rather than just a destination. This is key in developing a growth mindset.

 

How can I help my child develop a growth mindset?

  • Praise wisely.
    Praise for the process, their improvements, their progress and the strategies they have used. 
  • Encourage them.
    Help your child to understand that every time they learn something new, this can make them smarter. 

 By introducing the power of yet, children will often have more perseverance, greater confidence and persistence when presented with problems. This is a skill that every child can take forward into their later lives.

 

 

Carol Dweck’s research has placed the Growth Mindset at the forefront of education and child development for many years now. Alongside those children and adults who have developed a growth mindset, many have developed a ‘false growth mindset’, which misunderstood the core message.

“A lot of parents or teachers say praise the effort, not the outcome. I say [that’s] wrong: Praise the effort that led to the outcome or learning progress; tie the praise to it.”
Carol S Dweck (Gross-Loh, 2016)

 

Common misconceptions

There are some common misconceptions surrounding the Growth Mindset:

  • It’s about positive thinking, being flexible or open minded
  • It’s all about praising and rewarding effort
  • You must have a growth mindset all of the time 

 

In a 2016 interview, Carol Dweck demystified these ideas and made it clear what the Growth Mindset is really about and how we can support our children in developing one:

  • Nobody can have a growth mindset all of the time. 
  • Praise the learning process. It’s not all about effort, it’s about strategy and showing your child how their strategy led to success. 
  • If your child finds something hard, ask them what they can learn from this, what their next steps are and who can support them. This helps your child understand that their abilities can be developed.

 

The Fearless Four

At Explore, we use the Fearless Four to encourage a growth mindset. We designed it to recognise and praise specific behaviours and attitudes which will support children throughout their education.

Fearless Four infographic

How do you think your child would approach these four areas?

Fearless learners aren’t always born that way, so let’s work together to create them! Find out more about our tuition here.

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