Originating Organisation or Projects
EIS Action Research Grants 2019-20
This project sought to address whether a Growth Mindset approach in the classroom could contribute to an increase in enjoyment, attainment, and achievement in Numeracy for learners with a range of complex needs. Through introducing the learners to Growth Mindset both implicitly and explicitly, and delivering the teaching of key mathematical skills in a small focus-group context, the participants demonstrated increased engagement and a more positive attitude towards Numeracy. Stimulating practical methods were used to ensure maximum participation, and to promote mathematics as a ‘creative’ subject. Growth Mindset also became a primary focus of Health and Wellbeing, which helped the learners to reflect and to realise their own potential.
The students’ abilities and achievements were assessed both formatively and summatively, based on their progress throughout the focus-group lessons. The results were rigorously tracked and analysed, which revealed that significant academic and social progress had been made throughout the duration of the project. These findings have been instrumental in sharing good practice in the special educational needs setting, and the success of the project has also resulted in an increased appreciation for the value of Growth Mindset within the educational establishment. There is a wealth of research which advocates the benefits of Growth Mindset in education, and the positive impact that it can have on both the teachers and the pupils. It has been widely shown that a Growth Mindset approach can greatly enhance motivation, perseverance, and self-confidence. This theory is evident in the results of the study, which found that the learners began to embrace challenge and work harder to achieve their goals.
Despite the extensive body of research around Growth Mindset in education, there is a significant lack of research pertaining specifically to the impact of Growth Mindset for learners with additional support needs, and even less existing research which is also relevant to Numeracy. Therefore, it may be prudent to carry out further research to investigate this topic in greater depth.
This study can inform the implementation of Growth Mindset approaches in ASN settings, as well as evidence-based methodologies for enhancing attainment across multiple contexts.