Carol Dweck’s ‘Growth Mindset’ research has had a profound impact on the way we teach at Minchinhampton, as well as how we manage our school. Dweck and her colleagues are interested in people’s beliefs about their ability. They found that that the more a person had a growth mindset (the belief that we can become more capable with time and effort), the more likely they were to be successful in life: in essence they proved the age old maxim ‘it’s really important to believe in yourself.’
Clearly the ethos of a school can play an important role in nurturing self-belief. The ethos starts from the way we think and the language we use; it must be reflected in the way we teach, in the way we respond to each other, including how we give feedback and praise. Some of our core policies in school, for example our Feedback Policy and our Relationships Policy are heavily influenced by Dweck and a range of associated research, including research from Positive Psychology.