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Dear Parents/Caregivers,

Embracing challenges – and we all have a role.

Students and staff at Investigator College are becoming increasingly familiar with the term, “growth mindset,” as together we embrace challenges and strive for personal best outcomes.

Sometimes in our lives we encounter individuals or groups with fixed mindsets. Individuals with these mindsets believe that their talents and abilities are fixed, and cannot be improved. Their learning is stifled, because they will not venture beyond their comfort zone, and see effort and persistence as pointless. They are not open to feedback, and often turn on the person offering it. People with a fixed mindset ignore new approaches and stick to what they have done in the past, without evaluating its effectiveness.

Those with a growth mindset on the other hand, embrace challenges, seeing them as an opportunity for individual or collaborative growth. They welcome feedback and constructive criticism, as they strive for personal growth and opportunities to learn. Those with a growth mindset are more likely to persist and practise skills, to bounce back from setbacks, to evidence grit and determination and be open to multiple ways of solving problems. With this ability to solve problems comes increased self-respect, and the cycle continues. Research shows that improved health, sleep, levels of physical activity and general wellbeing are all given a boost.

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things.” – Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, US Navy

This year through our Positive Education program, Investigator students have been studying how we can ‘flip the script,’ through the conversion of fixed mindset comments into statements reflecting a growth mindset. A growth mindset requires us to confront our mistakes, rather than hide behind them, and to learn from them. We might still be in the “not yet” stage of acquiring a skill, but through effort we can get there.

Our teachers model a growth mindset

At Investigator we are dedicated to helping students achieve personal best outcomes in all endeavours, including academic achievement. Our teachers set themselves ambitious goals, going beyond their comfort zones in the search of innovation and best practice.  I am in awe of the obvious dedication and talent of our staff team and feel so proud to be working with them.

Parents have a role

As parents, we also have a role to play in modelling a growth mindset.  Are you open to learning new skills and new ways to solve problems? Think of your mindset as being on a continuum. On one side is a fixed mindset, the other a growth mindset.  For some ideas you might be very growth oriented, seeking new information and approaching new skills with enthusiasm. For other topics, you might demonstrate more of a fixed mindset, believing that you cannot master a skill, and cannot possibly get any better. Consider the excellent example you are setting if your children see you relish new learning and challenges, demonstrate grit and persistence, openness to feedback and a willingness to bounce back from setbacks.

It is never too late to flip the script.

John Robinson



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