What it means to have a growth mindset

growth mindset go getter pearson english

How do your students react to failure? Whether they bounce back and learn from their mistakes, or feel terrible and lose motivation, a learner’s response to failure is strongly linked to their mindset.

A learner with a growth mindset usually views failure as a learning opportunity, a challenge as a chance to grow, and feedback as a constructive way to improve.

Conversely, students with a fixed mindset tend to see failure as limiting and a reflection of personal shortcomings. They see challenges as frustrations and they take feedback very personally.

In essence, a growth mindset perceives intelligence and ability as attributes to be developed, whereas a fixed mindset sees intelligence and ability as innate and unchanging.

The terms were coined by Carol Dweck, a psychologist and professor at Stanford University. Her interest in how people react to failure led to her research in the area and she has since authored several books on the subject.

How can teachers support students to develop a growth mindset?

A learner’s mindset is significantly linked to their future success and happiness, and is of course related to performance both in and out of school.

Dweck’s research shows how important mindset is when it comes to early years development and classroom practice and, interestingly, how teachers can have a big impact on the types of mindsets their students develop.

Her study Praise for intelligence can undermine children’s motivation and performance goes against the conventional wisdom that we should praise students for their intelligence because it increases their motivation. The study instead shows that children who have been praised for intelligence show less enjoyment of tasks, less persistence and lower performance than those that have been praised for effort.

Effectively, praising intelligence reinforces the idea that being smart is what makes the difference between success and failure, removing an element of control: “It doesn’t matter how hard I work, I’m just not clever enough”.

On the other hand, praising effort shows the child that he or she has more autonomy, that greater effort produces greater results: “If I try harder, I’ll do better”.

What’s more, by not directly tying intelligence to success, feedback is related more to performance in one particular task. It is therefore taken more constructively; “If I do this, I will succeed next time”, rather than as a personal criticism; “I wasn’t good enough, I am not good at this”.

By encouraging your students to work hard, become responsible for their progress, learn from their mistakes and to think of feedback as an opportunity to improve, you will help them develop a growth mindset. In turn, you are providing them with the mental tools and techniques they need to lead happier and more rewarding lives.

During their careers they will not see limitations or obstacles ahead of them, they will see exciting learning opportunities and a chance to demonstrate their abilities. With a growth mindset they will have the ability to take on challenges without fear of failure and know that their efforts and continued professional development are what really counts.

Developing a growth mindset with the new GoGetter series

GoGetter, a new four-level course from Pearson and the BBC, doesn’t just improve students’ ability and confidence in English. It also develops the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in school and throughout life.

With a focus on competency-based learning, students learn to use English effectively in the real world. They also develop the personal, communicative, collaborative, digital and critical thinking skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. Such an approach inevitably supports developing students’ growth mindset and gives them essential skills to achieve their goals in school and beyond.

Aimed at young teenage learners, the course features videos including authentic BBC footage, fun grammar animations and digital solutions to spark your students’ curiosity.

Are your students Go-Getters?  

A Go-Getter is a person who wants to succeed. As well as having a growth mindset, they are ambitious and not afraid to go after what they want.

The GoGetter series has been developed with this concept in mind to help your students reach their potential when learning English.

Think about one of your classes. Do your students have any of the following Go-Getter traits? Which ones could you help them develop further?

  1. Go-Getters have dreams and aspirations

They don’t want to settle for second best. They want to do great things, be successful and make a difference. Not only in their school environment but also in life beyond.

GoGetter provides students with the tools they need to succeed at every level. They will they learn to use English with confidence, while developing exam strategies and 21st century skills.

  1. Go-Getters celebrate all achievements, small and large

From getting a correct answer to passing an important exam, they take pride in doing things well. They are motivated by the positive things in life as they know it will help them in the future.

GoGetter offers the opportunity for self-evaluation so students can keep track of their achievements by checking their answers in the relevant sections.

  1. Go-Getters are surrounded by support

Far from struggling in silence, they ask for help when they need it and benefit from the strength of those around them. Whether it’s a teacher or a peer, everyone is a friend.

GoGetter knows every student is different. It supports mixed ability classrooms with different activity types, including group and individual exercises and the option to pursue learning outside the classroom using the Workbook and Extra Online Homework.

  1. Go-getters learn from mistakes and don’t fear them

With nothing to lose, they give everything their best shot. By making mistakes, they can reflect on the journey and be sure to arrive to the destination.

GoGetter provides a safe learning environment for students through scaffolded step-by-step teaching and learning, which encourages everyone to participate and make mistakes to increase their potential for learning.

  1. Go-getters overcome obstacles

Things aren’t always easy, but they tackle challenges head on and think of creative ways to overcome them.

GoGetter includes critical thinking activities that help students solve problems.

For more information about GoGetter, visit the website or contact a local sales representative to order a sample.

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