Do we really have a growth mindset?

The Echo Chamber


The ladder of life is full of splinters, but they always prick the hardest when we’re sliding down.

Samuel Clemens

I spoke at a Growth Mindset conference with Olympian and sports journalist Matthew Syed today. Needless to say, he got star billing.

I took the view that whilst we may all profess to value a growth mindset in pupils we have a very fixed mindset to teaching and education. Syed made the point that there are important differences between how the aviation industry and surgeons treat failure. When an aeroplane crashes, airlines go to great lengths retrieve the black box flight recorder in order to find out what happened. They learn from any mistakes that were made and go to great lengths to avoid the possibility of the same mistakes ever happening again. Surgeons, by contrast, are prone to dismiss patient deaths. They say things like, “It was just one of those things.” Or…

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About carljphillips

Geography teacher. PhD in cultural/historical geography (Nott'm., 2006). SF/F genre fiction fan. Liverpool FC supporter. Libertarian. Humanist. Etc. I blog about the theory and practice of Geography teaching, and teaching in general.
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