• Question: It would be great if you had any advice on how to establish a growth mindset in children?

    Asked by jamesallen1705 to Yvonne, Mike, Linda, Iroise, David on 1 Mar 2018.
    • Photo: Mike Hobbiss

      Mike Hobbiss answered on 1 Mar 2018:

      The term ‘growth mindset’ is quite a specific term that has often been misused (and simplified into a set of motivational posters) in some educational settings. I think that the evidence suggests that motivation (and a more helpful mindset) are PRODUCTS of achievement, rather than precedents. This means that they will be more likely to occur if we can find ways to give students a sense of achievement and accomplishment in their work.

    • Photo: Yvonne Skipper

      Yvonne Skipper answered on 4 Mar 2018:

      Growth mindsets are all about encouraging learners to see ‘intelligence’ as being based on what they do (effort and techniques) rather than who they are (innate abilities).
      There are a number of ways to do this, for example by praising effort and techniques e.g. “You have been working hard on your times tables Katie and it shows” instead of praising the child’s abilities e.g. “You are so good at times tables Katie”. With older children you can discuss how the brain grows and changes as we learn new things.
      There are also ideas about how to promote growth mindsets in a toolkit which I co-created with school teachers and speech and language therapists. It is aimed at Year 1 students but some ideas may be useful for other settings. You can find it here: