Yesterday, I was watching a video about how the ‘growth mindset’ isn’t working – yet – as growth mindset advocates would say.

One trend I’ve noticed recently, is that a lot of ideas from the self-help movement have moved into our schools. I’ve seen yoga for kids, meditation, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and more. The ‘growth mindset‘ is another one of those ideas. To be honest, I’m not sure that all of these trends are a good thing. In the video, James Nottingham points to this, when he suggests that how you apply the growth mindset into the classroom can actually leave children feeling worse off. If that isn’t bad enough, there’s the possibility that the teacher isn’t even aware of the effects the tool they’ve chosen may have on their child. (Nobody said teaching was easy!)

However, the appropriateness of these self-help tools requires a more in-depth discussion, one that I might save for another time.

For the purposes of this video, what was interesting to me, is how a lot of things we would just assume as being good practice, or effective, like teacher education, have been found to have minimal impact on the outcomes of a child’s learning.

What I’ve noticed is that a lot of schools tout the benefits of these (and other) kinds of practices, without ever having made themselves aware of the (often extensive) body of research that exists about them. And those bodies of research sometimes do not support the contentions they are making. The impact of homework on a child’s learning, I think is one of the more interesting of these research topics.

In this video, Nottingham briefly discusses several of these bodies of research, the results of which many may find surprising.