‘Growth Mindset’ or Common Sense?

THIS is about about Growth Mindset and it’s not the first time that I have shared thoughts on this educational approach. Firstly I am a great believer in the concept. I practice this concept in every lesson that I teach and with every child that I come in to contact with in my role as a teacher. My only problem is that over the last few years it seems to have been hailed as the new great approach that all teachers should practice. Again I would agree with this… but its not new! In my view all teachers if they are doing their job properly should be demonstrating this approach every day.

It is this article that has got me thinking. It is written by Carol Dweck who revisits her research on Growth Mindset. Although this is from September 2015, it made me think about the amount of school leaders I read about who discuss Growth Mindset as the new big thing. I cant help feeling that the research is just common sense.

Surely the point about being a teacher is to grow a young persons mind and always has been? To get their brain working harder than ours is what we should always be trying to achieve? To try new things, to think that did not work and to re-try again in a different way to solve the specific problem should be a mindset adopted as often as possible. That is what we, as teachers do when reviewing our practice and lessons that have gone well or not so well?

If what I am saying is true then we are not only encouraging but practising growth mindset every day in our roles as teachers. What we must do therefore as teachers is to continue this common sense approach to teaching and encourage our young people to adopt a growth mindset. Remember though, we all display a fixed mindset on occasions and that is not the end of the world. However a common sense growth mindset should be a default state we try and return to. It may also help our well-being as it helps us to approach difficulties in a positive way? Again, THIS is just Common Sense!




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