Improving Growth Mindset with The Seedlings

May 12th 2022| Michael Mountford

Improving Growth Mindset with The Seedlings

The Growth Mindset Seedlings are back with some amazing new resources and a brilliant new comic for you to take a look at!

Created to teach children about the importance of having a growth mindset.

Children will learn how to turn a ‘never!’ into a ‘not yet!

Say hello to Pine, Acorn and Conker. Three seedlings with their own unique personalities and mindsets that, sometimes, stop them from achieving their goals.

Together, they learn new ways to approach tasks so that they can independently grow.

The Seedlings are a must-have addition to your Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 classroom!

To help celebrate the launch of our first Seedlings comic book, we are giving one lucky school the chance to win 10 copies of our brand new comic book – The Growth Mindset Seedlings + supporting educational resources! The competition will close on the 14th of May. Two runners up prizes of 5 books per school are also available!

UK Entrants Only!

Full terms and conditions apply.

To enter, all you have to do is:

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What is a Growth Mindset?

Dr Carol Dweck of Stanford Unversity was one of the first to develop the concept of a Fixed VS Growth Mindset. Her pioneering research, as well as her 2006 book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, helped to further popularise the concept of fixed and growth mindsets.

The concept of mindset was engineered by Carol Dweck after decades of researching achievement and success. Her research was able to prove that the way we think, and therefore behave, has a massive impact on learning and attitude. She classified mindset into Growth or Fixed.

In a Fixed Mindset people believe their intelligence and talents are fixed traits, set at birth and there is little you can do to improve these qualities.

In a Growth Mindset, people believe they can improve their intelligence and talents through purposeful effort, accepting guidance and support, and dedication to improvement without comparison to others. People with a Growth Mindset believe that anything is possible over time.

Dweck also stated that there were some people (15%) who have both fixed and growth mindset qualities.

Primary Teaching – Defining Growth Mindset

See every challenge as a new adventure, it will make you more resilient and can open new worlds.

A Growth Mindset in Education

Teaching children can be challenging under any circumstance.

It can become much more challenging however when they begin to doubt their ability to learn.

This doubt can be difficult to spot and can come in an infinite number of forms, but some of the more common indicators are:

  1. Believes that intelligence and talent are static and cannot be improved.
  2. Avoids challenges in order to avoid failure.
  3. Ignores feedback from others.
  4. Feels threatened by the success of others.
  5. Hides flaws so as not to be judged by others.

How To Help Develop a Growth Mindset

Alter language used in order to encourage a growth mindset, will begin to help change the way that children will perceive the learning process.

  • Fixed mindset statement: “It’s OK if you’re having trouble. Maybe fractions isn’t one of your strengths.”
  • Growth mindset statement: “When you learn how to do a new kind of problem, it develops your maths brain.”

The importance of encouraging students to work through problems cannot be understated.

  • Fixed mindset statement: “Great effort. You tried as hard as you could.”
  • Growth mindset statement: “The goal isn’t to get it right immediately. The goal is to improve your understanding step by step. What can you try next?”

Teaching children to be encouraged when they experience difficulty can also reinforce a growth mindset:

  • Fixed mindset statement: “Don’t worry, you’ll get it if you keep trying.”
  • Growth mindset statement: “That feeling you’re experiencing, of fractions being hard, is the feeling of your brain developing.”

Perfection does not exist! Aiming for it is the same as running a race where there is no finishing line, trying to reach it will produce nothing apart from exhaustion.

Growth Mindset Best Practices and Techniques

Normalise struggle

  • Struggle is a part of learning, and emphasising and reinforcing this idea will help children react positively when they feel challenged.

Promote the value of hard tasks

  • Brains are malleable muscles that can be developed. Research supports the idea of neural growth, and mindset research has shown that believing the brain can grow has a positive effect on behaviour and achievement.

Demonstrate mistakes and celebrate corrections

  • Mistakes should be viewed as learning opportunities. Teachers can model this outlook in reactions to their own mistakes and the steps they take to correct a mistake.

Set goals

  • Having students set incremental, achievable goals demonstrates the attainability of growth and progress.

Develop cooperative exercises

  • Working together to solve problems emphasises the process and reinforces the importance of getting help and finding solutions. It also deemphasizes individual outcomes.

Provide challenges

  • Part of developing a growth mindset is teaching students to overcome obstacles. A particularly hard mathematical problem or complex writing assignment that stretches their abilities can provide opportunities for growth and further instruction that emphasises problemsolving.

Avoid praising intelligence

  • This may seem counterintuitive, but praise for “being smart” reinforces the idea that intelligence is a fixed trait. This can be demotivating for the children being praised“I’m smart; I don’t have to try harder”, as well as for those who don’t receive the praise – “He/She is smart; I’m not”.

Don’t oversimplify

  • “You can do anything!” may feel like harmless encouragement, but if students aren’t put in a position to overcome challenges, they’ll conclude that such statements are empty.

Thank You For Reading

I hope this blog has given you some starting points and inspiration for how to begin developing a growth mindset within your classroom.

Don’t forget to enter our competition for a chance to win a set of printed Seedlings books for your children.

Our Growth Mindset Resources can be found right here:

Alongside our Growth Mindset Seedlings resources, make sure to also check out our Wellbeing Wednesday Schemes.

Both our Waves of Wellbeing and our Wellbeing Monsters schemes have characters that would be perfect for use when teaching all about Growth and Mindsets.

“Just like coral, we never stop growing. We are always learning new things and together, as we grow we will learn lots of new skills. These skills can help us in different situations that we face. Remember, you will continue developing as long as you keep on learning new skills.”

Follow Eggmo as he meets Sproot, from Number 3 Monsters Lane and see what Sproot can teach the children about having a growth mindset and why it is important for our wellbeing.

View all posts by: Michael Mountford
Categories: Classroom Environment
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