In which I launch my Growth Mindset education manifesto

In order to promote a growth mindset amongst students, teachers should:

  • Eliminate the use of extrinsic motivators, like:
    • Target grades;
    • Graded learning outcomes;
    • Summative marking;
    • Reward points;
  • Promote intrinsic motivation, using:
    • Modelled exemplars;
    • Clear success criteria;
    • Formative (comment-only) feedback;
    • Praise, linked to work ethic and success criteria.

However, this might be impossible to reconcile with whole-school policies. Therefore, at the school level, the development of a growth mindset requires a whole-school policy of:

  • No target grades (or at least, of not sharing of target grades with students);
  • Formative (comment-only) lesson observations;
  • Formative (comment-only) marking reviews;
  • No performance-related pay in which teachers’ salary progression is contingent upon their students’ exam results.

Again, this might be difficult to reconcile with national educational culture that insists on regular summative assessments of schools based on annual exam results and regular inspections. Therefore, in order to encourage a growth mindset across the educational sector, political parties should commit to two specific policies:

  • Abolish school league tables;
  • Comment-only Ofsted inspections.
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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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