“Fantastic level of information portrayed by an expert in child mindsets whose books are a must read for children ages 8-11….and their parents!”
David Fann, Associate Headteacher, Former Secretary National Association of Headteachers

Mindsets is a commonly used term nowadays, but would does it really mean, and is there more than just one type of mindset?

Mindset can be described as a set of non-cognitive abilities, as opposed to an academic set of abilities. Non-cognitive abilities can include self-belief, emotional confidence, ability to take on challenges, resilience, motivation, willpower, receptivity to feedback, abstinence and the delay of rewards (deferred gratification).


Much research has been produced that identifies aspects of mindset that are crucial to achieve success in life. Angela Duckworth in her GRIT research has even suggested that the development of a non-cognitive skills mindset was a greater indicator of success in life than just pure academic ability.

Lessons from Neuroscience

Indeed, it has been shown by various neuroscientists, that the brain is a complex circuit board of over 100 billion neurones. When these neurones are consistently and appropriately stimulated, especially at younger developmental ages, the plasticity, accuracy and speed of connectivity improves which enhances our emotional, academic, and psychological aspects of our development.

Can you raise your pupils IQ? And the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

As neuroscience and psychology continue to advance, we are quickly realizing that intelligence is fluid.

Although we once believed that your intelligence levels were determined at birth, we are finally realizing that your intelligence levels can be manipulated through mental training exercises, diet, physical activity, and environment.

There is also strong evidence to suggest that areas such as language, music and maths have a complimentary effect ie learning in one area can positively increase abilities in other areas. To find out more about improving intelligence at Knowledge for Men.

The term ‘growth mindset’ which was coined by Dr Carol Dweck, illustrates that abilities and talents are not set at birth. Indeed, they are grown throughout life. Dr Dweck categorised the growth mindset components into a number of areas ie challenge, effort, feedback, resilience and practice. Success is not about being better than someone else, but making yourself better each day.

INSET Outcomes

By the end of the INSET, delegates will have:

  • An understanding of the mindset components
  • An applied understanding of mindsets in action using examples from the world of music, sports, arts and literature
  • A set of valid measures that quantify various mindset aspects
  • Evidence supporting the value of growth mindsets
  • An understanding of how effective non-cognitive skills can produce success over time

Who is this INSET for?

  • All teaching staff who are in a pastoral/mentoring
  • TA’s
  • Governors
  • Parents/Carers

This INSET would be ideal as a keynote at an educational conference or talk for pupils and/or parents.

Inset Outline

Overview of Mindsets

The definition and rationale for mindsets is established using data from leading educational authorities such as Dweck, Duckworth, Hymer, Hattie, Tierney & Baumeister, et al.

Examples of Mindsets in Action

A look at examples in sport, music, arts and literature and how it is never to late to develop our mindsets. Even the benefits of developing a mindset in later life has been shown to slow, if not deter the onset of various dementia diagnoses.

Neuroscience Behind Brain Development

With our brains not being fully formed until the age of 25, there is much scope to implement good strategies at a younger age, even beyond formal school age. When appropriately stimulated, neurones can grow and become more effective and this aids learning and competency.

Measurement of Mindsets

Valid measures such as Rosenberg self-esteem measure, Brock and Hundley’s growth mindset measure, Duckworth’s GRIT measure, SICS-ZIKO manual and Dweck’s growth mindset tools. These can be used in a pre and post way to measure effectiveness of learning.

Barriers to Mindsets

On of the biggest barriers is poor belief in abilities. This could be past negative experiences, lack of quality teaching and opportunities, learned helplessness, negative personal biases, perceived subject / teacher blocks, etc. Each barrier will be exposed and analysed.

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