Prizes and praise are offered to those who perform best. Recognition is given to the most impressive talents within any given cohort. Everyone knows who is the best and who is the worst in each subject. Ability grouping is used to separate out those who do well and those who don’t. In these kinds of environments, emphasis is placed on a performance-orientation; one in which the most important aspect of learning is to out-perform your peers.
The alternative is much more engaging and, despite assumptions to the contrary, can also lead to improved grades for all concerned: a learning-orientation. With its focus on progress, a learning-orientation can help all students (and staff) to thrive. No matter the starting point, the emphasis becomes outperforming yourself rather than outperforming others. Pleasure (and, if needed, praise) comes from the love of learning rather than the love of beating others. This, in turn, leads to improved grades for everyone because when everyone beats their personal best, then ‘real-life’ grades are improved for all.
Suitable for teachers, leaders and support staff working with students between the ages of 3-19, we can help you to understand:
- How an emphasis on progress can lead to enhanced achievement for all
- How research (e.g. Hattie’s Visible Learning and Dweck’s Mindset) can be used to identify activities that will have a high impact on student progress
- Why so many forms of praise and reward actually slow student progress – and what can be done to change this
- How feedback can be used to maximum effect to enhance student progress and achievement
- Why a growth mindset will only really come alive in a learning-focused environment