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The Education Endowment Foundation has commissioned a project that seeks to examine the effect of teaching growth mindset to 10 and 11 year olds in the UK. The term “growth mindset” was coined by American Psychologist Carol Dweck, and is the belief that “intelligence is not a fixed characteristic and can be increased through effort.” It focuses on attainment, self-management and the process of learning from one’s own mistakes. Academic Sherria Hoskins explains “Expectations change neurology; if you have low expectations of a child their brain starts to function worse”. The growing body of research emphasises reducing traditional praise that tells a child they are ‘good at’ something and instead focus on effort and strategy. Opponents to the theory believe that it removes consideration of the larger social and economic situations that may hinder learning. Professor David James argues “It individualises the failure – ‘they couldn’t change the way they think, so that’s why they failed’.” Positive Edge will develop quizzes and videos that will be used by Changing Mindsets to test impact, and teachers will undergo training from psychologists. Pupils who watch the videos will be compared against a control group who do not and the findings will be measured against SATs scores. The study’s results will be published in 2018.

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