Growth Mindset: What is it and why is it important?

By 9th March 2018 March 9th, 2019 Programmes

A person’s mindset has a huge influence on the way they go about their daily life and their likelihood of success. For children living in poverty, a positive mindset can be an extremely important factor in helping them overcome the challenges they face. By understanding the two main mindsets an individual can have – a growth and a fixed mindset – we can use these to support vulnerable children and equip them better for their future.

What is Growth Mindset?

It is thought that there are two main types of mindset which people can have.

  • A fixed mindset – the belief that basic qualities, such as intelligence, creativity and talent, are essentially predetermined and fixed traits, meaning they cannot be improved much, if at all.
  • A growth mindset – the belief that these basic qualities can continue to develop over time through hard work, dedication, specific training and other improvements.

Whether an individual has a mainly fixed or growth mindset can be tested by giving them various statements, and asking them the extent to which they agree or disagree. These results are then coded and added up to produce a score out of 60.

Why is it important?

A growth mindset is an extremely valuable skill for children to have, as it can give them the motivation to work hard and dedication to improve their mental and physical abilities. An improvement in the growth mindset of the children could therefore result in extremely positive outcomes in their emotional, physical, financial and academic lives.

How does it affect our work?

Our programme partner Fairplay is using growth mindset as a key indicator to measure progress of the work we’re co-funding. If you would like to find out more about our partnership project ‘Helping 100 Children At-Risk in Payatas, The Philippines’, please check out our work. As we continue to support children living in poverty across the world, we hope that we can encourage positive thinking and growth mindsets which set these children up for future success.

Sources:

  1. Fairplay For All Foundation (2018) Helping 100 Children At-Risk: How Much does Regular Sport, Nutrition, and Social Groups Improve the Well-being of Children in Payatas? Unpublished.
  2. The Guardian: Research every teacher should know: growth mindset. Jan 2018