Page 10 - I have a dream
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THE ENGLISH SCHOOL MA GA ZINE 2022                                                                                     THE ENGLISH SCHOOL MA GA ZINE 2022

              ON THE

              GROWTH                                            Popi Grouta

                                                                Assistant Head

              MINDSET This year, despite the disruptions
                                                                caused by Covid, we were determined
                                                                to reach out to every ES student to offer
                                                                support regarding studying strategies
                                                                and habits that can lead to success.
                                                                  The message the TLC teachers, form tutors, and I shared across
                                                                the school was that learning could be difficult and complex,
                                                                particularly under isolation, prolonged absence and uncertainty.
                                                                With hard work, students were reassured that they could achieve
                                                                progress, encapsulated in developing a growth mindset.
                                                                  I first shared my thoughts on the growth mindset in an article in
                                                                the school magazine in 2020, urged by an eagerness to encourage
                                                                students to keep to the task despite the challenges posed by the
                                                                pandemic. Since then, I have reflected on and developed my
                                                                understanding of mindsets and the research into implementing
                                                                mindset theory in practice. Key factors to developing a growth
                                                                mindset in school are students' motivation and interventions to
                                                                shift beliefs about intelligence and ability. Over time, I have also
                                                                become aware that there is much ambiguity surrounding the
                                                                concept of growth mindset with a tendency in some advocates to
                                                                see it as a panacea that can magically fix all problems that students
                                                                face with learning.
                                                                  So in this article, I want to put right a significant misconception
                                                                about the concept. Simply telling young people to "work harder,
         teaching & learning                                    beliefs about themselves leads to more successful academic
                                                                and you will get smarter", "be resilient", "don't be afraid to make
                                                                mistakes", or "get out of the learning pit" is often a waste of time.
                                                                  The problem is that the growth mindset has been misunderstood.
                                                                The way it is often presented suggests that changing students'
                                                                progress and achievement. I have learned from experience that the
                                                                opposite is usually true; good academic progress and achievement,
                                                                when the outcome of sustained effort and effective learning
                                                                strategies and techniques, can change students' beliefs about
                                                                themselves. If you work hard and make progress, again and again,
                                                                you come to associate hard work with progress. This is the growth
                                                                mindset. If you work hard and don't make progress, you believe that
                                                                you can't do it; this is the fixed mindset. If you make progress
                                                                without working too hard, this can also lead to a fixed mindset.
                                                                Carol Dweck, the American psychologist who researched mindsets,
                                                                calls this "the worst belief anybody can have about themselves", if you
                                                                are talented, you shouldn't need effort.
                                                                  Therefore, a  growth mindset school needs to be a place where
     08                                                         students engage with learning experiences, try hard and then
                                                                achieve success as a result.
                                                                  Prominent educational researchers David Didau and Nick Rose
                                                                aptly say that "The overriding component in all of this is that
                                                                students must believe they can improve through their own efforts.
                                                                Probably the best way of achieving this is for students to experience
                                                                some success due to applying greater effort”.
                                                                  So the way to achieve progress is to put in the effort and then
                                                                experience the satisfaction of seeing it pay off. Success and progress
                                                                will then fuel motivation and have a long-lasting impact on how we
                                                                see ourselves regarding intelligence and ability; because our beliefs
                                                                are forged far stronger by our experiences than by what we are told
                                                                – no matter how good the workshops on study skills and the growth
              Anna Pasha 4B                                     mindset have been.
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