☰ Mrs Holt’s Assembly on Growth Mindset - Carol Dweck

Mrs Holt’s Assembly on Growth Mindset - Carol Dweck

Posted on: November 28th 2014 | Category:

‘You must learn to fail intelligently. Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world. One fails forward towards success.’ Thomas Edison (Inventor of: The light bulb, Batteries and over 1093 more inventions).
This is a quotation I recently posed to the children during a KS2 assembly.

As an inventor, Edison believed that when things didn’t go right or didn’t work that was just as valuable a part of the invention process as when things went right. Many people think that in a task you either succeed or fail but successful people know that ultimate success may involve several failures.  

Researchers have known for some time that the brain is like a muscle; that the more you use it, the more it grows. They’ve found that neural connections form and deepen most when we make mistakes doing difficult tasks rather than repeatedly having success with easy ones. What this means is that our intelligence is not fixed, and the best way that we can grow our intelligence is to embrace tasks where we might struggle and fail.

Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University has been studying people’s mindsets towards learning for decades. She has found that most people adhere to one of two mindsets: fixed or growth. Fixed mindsets mistakenly believe that people are either smart or not, that intelligence is fixed by genes. People with growth mindsets correctly believe that capability and intelligence can be grown through effort, struggle and failure. Dweck found that those with a fixed mindset tended to focus their effort on tasks where they had a high likelihood of success and avoided tasks where they may have had to struggle, which limited their learning. People with a growth mindset, however, embraced challenges, and understood that tenacity and effort could change their learning outcomes.

The pupils in KS2 considered their own mindset through a series of scenarios which I presented to them. They then discovered that fixed mindsets can be changed by small changes in their thought processes. For instance if they should hear themselves thinking “I can’t do this…” they should tell themselves “I can’t do this yet”. If they should hear themselves thinking “I’m no good at this”, they should tell themselves “I can become better at this.”

The children learned that just a simple shift in their own perception of themselves as a learner can have fairly long­-lasting implications for their overall performance, academically.
We closed the assembly with some words of wisdom to contemplate:
 “Constant practice devoted to one subject often outdoes both intelligence and skill” Cicero
 “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Einstein
Mrs Holt

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