Principal's Message

What can we do to help children with their learning?

Having a Growth Mindset is the Key!

Over 30 years ago, Carol Dweck and her colleagues became interested in students' attitudes about failure. They noticed that some students rebounded while other students seemed devastated by even the smallest setbacks. After studying the behaviour of thousands of children, Dr. Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. Therefore, they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement.

Recent advances in neuroscience have shown us that the brain is far more malleable than we ever knew. Research on brain plasticity has shown how connectivity between neurons can change with experience. With practice, neural networks grow new connections, strengthen existing ones, and build insulation that speeds transmission of impulses. These neuroscientific discoveries have shown us that we can increase our neural growth by the actions we take, such as using good strategies, asking questions, practising, and following good nutrition and sleep habits. (


1. Pay attention and verbally praise kids for skills that don’t sound predetermined: hard work, persistence, rising to a challenge, learning from a mistake, etc., rather than being “smart”, “brilliant” or “gifted”.

2. Be a growth mindset role model. Be honest: how often do you say “I can’t (cook/sing/balance my bank account)” or “I’m terrible at (sports/spelling/public speaking)” as if there’s no hope for you? Make sure you’re sending the right message – maybe even take on something new!

3. Encourage your child to forget taking the easy route (where little learning is done) and instead embrace challenges. A sheet full of questions he/she already knows the answers to won’t “grow the brain” like one deeper problem to solve (even if he/she doesn’t get the correct answer).

4. Remember growth mindset isn’t just academic; it applies to many areas of life (athletic, musical, social). Having trouble getting the basketball into the net? Keep making mistakes on a guitar chord? Tried to initiate play with someone but it didn’t go well? Discuss the next step for improvement.

5. Discourage envy of peers, and talk to your child about what he or she can learn from others who appear more successful. While skills may come more easily to some, most often there’s a (possibly unseen) element of practice, persistence, and hard work which leads to achievement.

Embracing a growth mindset isn’t always easy, but can have a huge impact on your child…


With kindest regards

Anna Cindric