Your children may well have been talking about how they have been into "the pit" at school! The picture that is displayed above is an example of the learning pit that we have in every classroom throughout the school and is a visual aid for the children to describe their learning journeys throughout the day. We became a 'Growth Mindset' School in January and we have transformed the way we approach learning and how we interact with the children. There is a buzz around the school and children have embraced the theory. We want the children to understand that it is okay to be stuck, and that some of their best learning is done when they find things the hardest. Rather than simply praising success we praise effort and persistence. Mistakes are part of learning.
At Princes Risborough Primary we believe the best thing that we can do is to teach children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. For children who find work easy we make sure they encounter more difficult tasks. Our children recognise that effort, persistence and good teaching are the strategies that really help them to improve.
We want parents to join us with this exciting new experience. It will change the way that you think too.
It was once thought telling children how smart they are would give them confidence in their abilities, the desire to learn, and the hardiness to withstand difficulty.
“The self-esteem movement got it wrong. Praising children’s intelligence may boost their confidence for a brief moment, but by fostering the fixed view of intelligence, it makes them afraid of challenges, it makes them lose confidence when tasks become hard, and it leads to plummeting performance in the face of difficulty”
Research shows that praising the process—children’s effort or strategies—creates eagerness for challenges, persistence in the face of difficulty, and enhanced performance.
“What has been found in study after study is that ability-praise backfires. Emphasising effort gives a child a variable that they can control. They come to see themselves as in control of their success. Emphasising natural intelligence takes it out of the child’s control, and it provides no good recipe for responding to a failure.”