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SSIS Embraces the Growth Mindset Culture

Wrtitten by Don
on 22 July 2016
Created: 22 July 2016
Hits: 873

Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference. (http://www.mindsetworks.com)

The Growth Mindset paradigm is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments – everyone can change and grow through application and experience.  As opposed to the fixed mindset, people with a fixed mindset believe that their traits are just givens. They have a certain amount of brains and talent and nothing can change that. If they have a lot, they’re all set, but if they worry about their traits and how adequate they are. They have something to prove to themselves and others. (Dweck, 2010).

            Even before the popularity of the growth mindset paradigm in educational institutions, this kind of mindset has been practiced in SSIS, only termed differently, but the concept is basically the same.  In SSIS, we believe in talent and we cultivate talent.  We also believe that everyone is talented and everyone can grow.  We do not limit an individual as to the level of intelligence quotients or physical endowments, rather, we recognize efforts. 

            The examples of school programs that cater for the growth mindset are:  PASS research, Portfolio binders, Interest Clubs, Reflections, Value of the Week, and Duke of Edinburgh.

            In the conduct of the PASS research, all researchers start from scratch.  After being taught in the classroom, the researchers will then set the pace of their research.  Some can do it fast, some take their time – though deadlines are set to see what they can achieve given a certain amount of time.  In PASS, the students will submit the first draft, and the draft will be checked.  The students will submit the second draft, or the third draft until it reaches perfection.  The students are given the chance to continuously improve their work until the time of binding.  With the growth mindset culture, SSIS believes that one can always improve, one can always achieve.

            The Interest Club is another area where children manifest growth.  Not a dancer but interested?  The club moderator and the Dance club activities can bring out the best in the child.  After all, it only takes practice and effort.  Not a player, but passionate about ball games?  The club moderator and the drills can develop one’s play.  The only thing that matters is – the individual must believe in the power of not yet “I am not yet the best, but I will be.  I am a work in progress” 

            This kind of progress is documented in the Portfolio Binder.  In the binder, the first draft, the modified work, and the best output are collated, so the student can do a self-assessment of their progress.  Most importantly, the binder contains the student’s reflection of how he/she learned and how such learning contributes to his/her holistic development.

SSIS recognizes that learners should not only grow their brains, they should also grow their hearts – thus the Value of the Week.  Each week, one of school’s core values is internalized by the students.  They reflect on these values and think of ways on how they can apply these values inside and outside the classroom.

The Duke of Edinburgh for high school students is another avenue for growth - physical, intellectual, and spiritual.  Here, students choose the areas where they want to grow.  They can choose music, photography, and the arts; they can try sports; they can commune with nature; and a lot more.  The DoE is loaded with learning experiences where the participants can apply the theories learned inside the classroom. 

Given that SSIS had been an advocate of Growth Mindset even before its formal launching, there are more in store for our students and parents.  The school is cooking up plans to hold a seminar about this in the coming months and we will keep you informed.     

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