One of her most interesting assertions was that praising intelligence makes children vulnerable and runs the risk of having them give up if things get difficult. She shared the research she has undertaken which shows that if given a choice, children who have been told “you are so clever”, will often choose not to challenge themselves in their learning. Instead, Dweck encouraged us to focus our praise on effort and on struggle, to commend children for using different strategies in their learning, for choosing difficult tasks and for persisting and for being prepared to make (and learn from) mistakes. She suggested that academic struggle should be seen as heroic!These ideas resonate with our School’s emphasis on Effort and Learning Behaviours, which is reflected in many of my discussions with teachers and girls. This week, our Tournament of Minds Teams in Senior School and our Year 6 Debaters in Junior School are just 2 examples of opportunities for girls to take on complex tasks and to experience struggle! I am enormously proud of every girl that I see wrestling with a challenging problem or persisting at a task that she is not finding straightforward. I look forward to continuing to work with our School community on the development of a growth mindset in every Lowther Hall learner.
Posted on by Elisabeth Rhodes