children in a classroomFrom tes, Kaye Wiggins shares Carol Dweck’s comments on how teachers should be using the concept of a growth mindset.  She writes:

““Teachers used to say, ‘Here’s a student who’s not very clever, they can’t really learn’,” she says. “The whole idea [of the growth mindset] was to say, ‘No, they can’. They can gain intellectual ability if you’re teaching them in the right way…It’s the educator’s responsibility to foster these attitudes, rather than labelling or stigmatising students for not having them.”

But Professor Dweck admits she was already concerned that some in education had misunderstood her theory. These teachers were thinking “that’s a smart kid, they can learn; that’s not a smart kid, they can’t learn”, she says.

“Teachers often [think] students they consider clever have everything good, but they may not see that a [bright] student doesn’t like extra challenges or cannot take criticism or setbacks,” she adds. “So they are actually doing a disservice to the kids they consider clever by not challenging them and not teaching them how to use feedback.”

When she met TES, Professor Dweck was planning to use her week-long visit to the UK to advise teachers on translating her theory into everyday practice. “Part of it is teaching kids about the way their brains work,” she says, adding that teachers should explain to pupils that “when you do hard problems in maths you become smarter in maths”.

Teachers should also respond to students’ mistakes in a positive way because they are “opportunities for learning,” she says. “When adults react to kids’ mistakes as a big problem, a cause for anxiety, the kids don’t develop a growth mindset.” …”

Read the full story at Carol Dweck: ‘The whole idea of growth mindset is to say yes they can’