At The Dorcan Academy we encourage all students to develop a ‘Growth Mindset’.
“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” ( Dweck, 2015)
Hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but not as important as having that underlying belief that you are in control of your own destiny. A growth mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. 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.
The growth mindset creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. Its hallmark is the conviction that human qualities like intelligence and creativity, and even relational capacities like love and friendship, can be cultivated through effort and deliberate practice. Not only are people with this mindset not discouraged by failure, but they don’t actually see themselves as failing in those situations — they see themselves as learning.
Our Growth Mindset Days move away from learning in the traditional sense and give students an opportunity to challenge themselves. Timetabled lessons are collapsed for the day and students have the opportunity to develop and learn new skills over the course of a day, which may be out of their comfort zone and require an element of ‘risk taking’. Previous activities have included designing and flying hot air balloons, learning a new language or skill, undertaking disability sports, performing arts projects, resilience and mindfulness techniques, teamwork and problem solving activities, wellbeing activities, leadership skills, trips to universities and college talks to name just a few. Our Growth Mindset Days are carefully planned to provide a day of enriched activities for our students.