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Carol Dweck promotes ‘The power of “Yet’’ to improve the educational performance of all children, particularly those who are badly underperforming. The current Pass/Fail approach to educational achievement focuses on the present and does not address the future…
Give a group of children a problem to solve together as a team. The test is just beyond their collective abilities to solve. When they realise this, see how the children react. Some will welcome the challenge and continue to try to solve the problem, whilst others will give up trying.
This reflects two different mindsets. The growth mindset child focuses on learning, i.e. carry on solving and not give up. The fixed mindset child only perceives pass/fail, i.e. gives up if the problem cannot be solved at the first or second attempt. Their respective brains respond differently to the same situation.
The problem is that our educational systems are mostly geared to achieving high performance by way of top grades in exams. Results wanted Now. The growth mindset child will succeed, the fixed mindset will not. The pass/fail mentality will cause them to flee from difficulty, to disengage, to feel their intelligence is being judged. Improvement is stunted. This educational approach has been the called the ‘Now’ approach where children need to get passes, Now!
An alternative approach to teaching is the ‘Yet’ approach. Children may pass, but those who don’t, do not fail. Their progress is assessed as Not Yet.
Praise should be given wisely with praise given for perseverance, effort, focus, progress, strategy and improvement. This reflects ‘Yet’ rather than pass and ‘Not Yet’ rather than fail, when faced with challenging problems. This in turn gives the children more confidence.
Yet/Not Yet gives children more confidence and creates more equality in educational achievement.
Caroll Dweck provides several examples from her own experience of how the Yet/Not Yet technique has been very successful. Which type of mindset to you think fits best to you?
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