Q1 How has your school developed strategies for mindsets? Describe any CPD you’ve experienced.
Q2 How can all staff be encouraged to demonstrate a growth mindset in their school lives?
Q3 How can we ensure everyone’s understanding of the Mindset theory? What does the research say?
Q4 How do you avoid demonising fixed mindsets?
Q5 Does a teacher’s mindset and expectations impact on the achievement of pupil?
Q6 How is it possible to practice mindfulness in busy school environments?
Q7 What have been the greatest benefits of mindfulness practices in your school?
Q8 Mindfulness just another new fad or here to stay?
Q9 Is there value in assessing Mindset and/or Mindfulness?
Tonight’s discussion had two distinct topics. Both hotly debated with strong feelings on both sides. The recipe for an engaging. Tonight it was great to see that the passion remained profession and in a spirit of learning.
The discussion began with a question about how schools who have begun a mindset journey have developed this. If the educators discussing in UKEdChat is representative it would seem that most schools and teachers are muddling through with growth mindset and have not receive any formal training about it beyond reading Carol Dweck’s book. Considering the buzz in the educational world about growth mindset, this is surprising.
There were many suggestions for ways to encourage and demonstrate a growth mindset among staff. See the archive for a full range, but the main suggests revolved around being pleasant and share positive comments with each other, while others offered that building up slowly with little and often pulling beyond what is currently know, understood or accepted will build into a growth habit.
On the subject of research was when the debate begun to heat up. Some chatters felt that the Growth Mindset theory did not stand up to rigorous scrutiny and does not impact on learning. Others felt that growth mindset has worth in education, but that the evidence had not yet proved a causal link between growth mindset theory and improving academic achievement, while yet others cited organisations and research which they said showed such a link. The work of John Hattie was mentioned a few times in this discussion.
Next the discussion turned to not demonise fixed mindsets. Most people expressed a view that it is a long journey towards a growth mindset and need support and mentoring. A few others thought the question was spurious as they felt the theory isn’t sound in the first place and therefore isn’t desirable in the first place. The same people made the remark that growth mindset ‘dissenters’ are labelled as having a fixed mindset meaning that the arguments seem self-fulfilling. Yet the majority of UKEdChatters felt that the teacher’s mindset had an impact on the achievement of pupils.
The discussion moved away from growth mindset to mindfulness. What was immediately clear was that their didn’t seem to be the same gusto and ringing endorsements for mindfulness and it seemed that the chat participants had had less first hand experience of mindfulness techniques. Also, there wasn’t the same level of counter-augment either. Most UKEdChatter felt that mindfulness techniques had a role to play in the classroom, but is was something to developing in future.
The finally question focused on the assessment of growth mindset and mindfulness. To generalise the opinions voiced, many suggested that the results and impact on achievement was assessment enough within the classroom, but they would like to see more academic research on the impacts. A few UKEdChatters raised concerns that if a measure isn’t assessed, then how can one know it is having a direct impact, but this seemed to be a minority view.