Yew TeePrimary School
School Advisory Committee Chairman Message
“65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist” – an estimate presented in the ‘Future of Jobs’ report published in January 2016 by the World Economic Forum. While we will only know what the truth will be in 10 to 15 years, it does set me thinking as a parent if there is anything that I can do that would help my children to better prepare themselves for a future filled with unknowns. How can parents and teachers better equipped the children to prepare for an increasingly complex and uncertain future?
Nurturing a growth mindset could be one of the answers to better prepare the children to face uncertainties, embrace challenges and persist when faced with setbacks in a fast changing and complex environment. So what is a growth mindset?
Mindset, a simple idea discovered by Dr. Carol Dweck, a world-renowned Stanford University psychologist, plays an important role as it shapes our attitude when we face challenges or obstacles. A person with a growth mindset believes that talents and abilities can be improved and developed through dedication and hard work. Failure will only be viewed as feedback about the person’s performance and not as a judgement of his potential or value. With a growth mindset, a person will be eager to learn to improve his performance and enjoy exploring, experimenting and stretching himself.
On the other hand, a person with a fixed mindset believes that his attributes and abilities are inherently fixed and cannot be changed. Such a person will believe that talent alone creates success without much effort required. In a fixed mindset frame, the person will constantly try to prove himself and avoid making a mistake because failure will bring him doubts and destroys his confidence.
As a parent, I urge you to foster a growth mindset at home too. The first step is to become aware of language that signals one’s mindset. Here are some questions to think about:
1. How often do you notice and praise effort and progress?
2. What thoughts did you have when your child struggled? How could you frame their struggle in a growth mindset way by helping them understand that this is when their brain is growing most?
3. What thoughts did you have when your child excelled? How could you frame their success in a growth mindset way, e.g., by talking about the process that led to their success?
In YTPS, the teachers help to nurture a growth mindset in the students. This is evident in the teachers’ effort to develop students to their fullest potential, encourage them to learn from their mistakes and keep trying, and praise students for their diligence and effort instead of their intelligence and abilities. All these are essential elements of nurturing a growth mindset so that our children will be able to better navigate the increasingly complex and uncertain future. All our children have their own unique strengths, interests and talents. Together with the school, let’s continue to work closely together to nurture them and inspire them to achieve their personal best.
Mr Tang Lee Huat