Head of House – Aston
It is important for us to constantly be thinking about how we can help the students under our care grow and develop skills that will be valuable to them, not only while they are here at Loreto Normanhurst, but also once they graduate and step outside the safety of this school.
In Aston House this term, we have been focusing on how to create and develop a growth mindset. The following quote by Carol Dweck, a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University who developed a theory about a growth vs a fixed mindset, is the foundation of why we have decided to place a particular focus in this area:
“The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
Young women can be particularly vulnerable to a fixed mindset, particularly in academic areas such as math and science and in the development of resilience. A hallmark of a fixed mindset is the avoidance of challenge or the desire to give up too easily when confronted with situations that make them uncomfortable or to which they cannot see any obvious solutions. As a result, the importance of teaching students about and encouraging the development of a more growth mindset is paramount for both academic and pastoral learning.
In House periods this term we have been learning about the connection between the brain, its structure and how that ability for the brain to grow and change is what allows for the possibility of a growth mindset. The girls have investigated the difference between statements you use, or how you respond to a challenge when approaching that situation with a fixed mindset vs a growth mindset.
In pairs they spent time completing some challenges and activities where they needed to use or understand a growth mindset. They enjoyed these activities immensely and the focus on the development of a growth mindset will continue next term with a stronger focus on the relationship between a growth mindset and resilience.
If you would like to know more about the importance of a growth mindset and understanding the brain, please see the links below:
Ms Michelle Albert
Head of House – Aston