College – Issue 41

LEADERSHIP Opening your mind to growth

Nurturing a growth mindset is integral to

College life, boosting our wellbeing and celebrating the process of learning. College’s Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education, clinical psychologist Dr Sarah Anticich, points out that mindsets “are simply a meaning-making system, and an organising function that brings together goals, beliefs, feelings and behaviour”. “As such, our mindsets function as a filter that impacts on our view of the world and influences how we think, learn and behave,” Dr Anticich says. She explains that Professor Carol Dweck, an international expert from Stanford University and research partner of the Growth Mindset Institute, has identified two types of mindset – fixed and growth. “We are all a mix of both mindsets,” Dr Anticich says. “However, in certain areas, we may slip into a fixed mindset which may negatively impact on our development, learning and opportunities for growth. We possess a fixed mindset when we implicitly believe that we and others cannot change, develop and improve our talents, abilities and intelligence. “According to Professor Dweck, people with a fixed mindset are motivated to avoid failure. They believe that people’s abilities are set in stone, so they want to show the world that they possess high levels of ability. As a result, they avoid taking risks that may lead to failure.

“We possess a growthmindset when we believe that we and others can change, develop and improve our talents, abilities and intelligence.” Dr Sarah Anticich “Science informs us that by increasing our awareness of our mindset, with support, coaching, and effort, we have the capacity to intentionally adopt a growth mindset that enhances learning, wellbeing and engagement,” Dr Anticich says. “As such, growth mindset is an area of specific focus for Christ’s College. This year, we have invested in

“We possess a growth mindset when we believe that we and others can change, develop and improve our talents, abilities and intelligence. A growth mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure as a springboard for stretching existing abilities in an ever-changing world. Those with a growth mindset are more likely to see challenge as a learning opportunity to improve their skills and enhance their performance.” Dr Anticich says that children develop mindsets or beliefs about their ability as early as preschool. “Fixed mindsets slow or shut down the drive to learn that babies are born with. Some children become fearful of not being seen as smart and, consequently, may begin rejecting challenges. Others with a growth mindset embrace challenges and learning.” She points out that children with a fixed mindset are at risk of becoming non-learners.

Christ’s College Canterbury


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