Education · Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset: Some baseline data.

Our school has done very little work on “Growth Mindset” with staff or with students.

We may be a little behind the times here as every other article, journal or conference seems to feature some reference to developing a “Growth Mindset” in students.

I decided to collect some baseline data on Growth Mindset among our students and staff.

My method was fairly crude. An 8 question survey attached to an online vote for our school leaders for 2016.

The question was:

Whether a person does well or poorly in school may depend on a lot of different things. You may feel that some of these things are easier for you to change than others. In school, how possible is it for you to change:

 


Not at all possible to change–(1) A little possible to change(2) Somewhat possible to change(3) Quite possible to change(4) Completely possible to change(5) Total Weighted Average
Behaving well in class 5.45%

18

5.15%

17

20.00%

66

21.82%

72

47.58%

157

 

330

 

4.01

Putting in a lot of effort 5.17%

17

6.99%

23

18.84%

62

23.10%

76

45.90%

151

 

329

 

3.98

How easily you give up 5.76%

19

8.48%

28

23.33%

77

22.12%

73

40.30%

133

 

330

 

3.83

Liking the subjects you are studying 5.42%

18

11.75%

39

30.72%

102

29.22%

97

22.89%

76

 

332

 

3.52

Your level of intelligence 7.58%

25

12.42%

41

31.21%

103

29.70%

98

19.09%

63

 

330

 

3.40

Being talented. 12.69%

42

14.80%

49

39.58%

131

18.13%

60

14.80%

49

 

331

 

3.08

Chart_Q16_160105 (2).png

If our students and staff have  a growth mindset we should see most saying “Quite Possible To Change” or “Completely Possible to Change” for all characteristics. At first glance the figures look reasonably positive although I have no other schools data to compare it with.

Is there a standard survey by which a school can measure mindset and track its growth? Please comment below if you know of such an instrument, especially if it is free.

I have broken the data down by year level.

Response Being talented. Liking the subjects you are studying Your level of intelligence Putting in a lot of effort Behaving well in class How easily you give up
Year 7 3.16 3.49 3.41 3.94 3.91 3.85
Year 8 3.20 3.51 3.52 3.77 3.83 3.50
Year 9 2.69 3.10 3.18 3.58 3.58 3.63
Year 10 3.22 3.65 3.78 4.22 4.20 4.02
Year 11 2.82 3.43 3.10 3.83 3.94 3.59
Staff 3.46 4.09 3.57 4.72 4.76 4.63

We clearly have some work to do in developing a growth mindset in our Level 9’s.

Staff have a strong growth mindset which is pleasing.

Being intelligent and talented seems to be the lowest in terms of what both staff and students see as possible to change.

I was also interested to see whether a student’s mindset was correlated with their academic performance or with their learning behaviours.

We measure academic performance by their grades on reports. We measure learning behaviours by the rankings staff give students for Effort, Behaviour, Organisation, Task Submission and Academic Progress on Progress Reports.

One possible hypothesis is students with a high “growth mindset” will do better at school. Those that see the characteristics mentioned above as “Quite Possible” or “Completely Possible” to change would do better academically and have better work habits than those who see these characteristics as “A little” or “Not at all possible to change”. Do the students with a “fixed” rather than a “growth” mindset do better or worse at our school?

mindset

Let me crunch some numbers and I’ll get back to you.

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