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Growth Mindset Work

TMCS continues to embed a Growth Mindset ethos in staff and students alongside our core values of Respect, Learn, Aspire, Achieve. The academic year 2016-17 has seen the introduction on The Growth Mindset Centre featuring The Learn & Achieve Zone, The Respect Zone and The Aspire Zone. Watch this space for the forthcoming promotional video!

In addition student Growth Mindset Ambassadors are now in place to further embed and develop Growth Mindset here at TMCS.

What is mindset and why is it important?

Mindset is a simple idea , there are two mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success - without effort.

They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work - brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all people who achieved top performance had these qualities. Research shows that people with this view reach higher levels of success than people with fixed mindset beliefs.

As parents you can help support your child’s success by considering the messages you pass to your child about their achievement and progress. No parent thinks “I wonder what I can do today to undermine my children, subvert their effort, turn them off learning, and limit their achievement.” Of course not. We think “I would do anything, give anything, to make my children successful.” Yet many of the things we do can convey a negative message. Our best intentioned judgments, our lessons, our motivating techniques often send the wrong message, unintentionally.

In fact, every word and action sends a message. It tells children - our students - how to think about themselves. It can be a fixed mindset message that says: “You have permanent traits and I’m judging them,” or it can be a growth mindset message that says: “You are a developing person and I am interested in your development.” 

The most important thing you can do to help your child instil a growth mindset is to praise them for effort rather than for talent. Messages like “You learned that so quickly! You’re so smart!” teach the child that effort is a sign of weakness and that they either are or aren’t smart. If they encountered difficulty in the future, they wouldn’t know how to deal with it. Instead, messages such as “I like the way you approached that problem”, or “good work to persevere and find a different strategy that did work”, or “sorry, that seemed to be too easy for you, let’s do something more challenging”, teaches children that effort is something we can all benefit from to reach our full potential, and that they need to be working purposefully in order to grow.

We will be challenging students that currently answer questions with responses such as “I don’t know” or “I can’t” to add one simple word to the end of that sentence, “YET”. This simple addition demonstrates commitment to success through effort. I look forward to your support in developing a Growth Mindset in our community.

Kathy Janzan
Head of School