Question or focus area: Growth mindset in art – How much do you agree with the following statement ‘You have a certain amount of artistic talent and you can’t really do much to change it?’
Students felt they could improve their general intelligence and talent in but not so much when it came to art – showing a general tendency for a growth mindset, yet a fixed mindset in art. Students felt they were only confident in certain areas of art i.e. drawing and not others i.e. sculpture etc. Students had a variety of different learning needs and areas they wanted to improve in.
The coaching call helped me to narrow it down to the one most prevalent strand from the initial student responses, by focusing on the most common area, which I felt would make the most impact – growth mindset in art.
The main beliefs that you ‘can’t improve your ability in art’ tended to stem from primary school, early experiences, and upbringing. I therefore focused on what I could do in the present to change these experiences.
New professional learning
I researched Carol Dweck’s growth mindset – reading her book. I also shared professional learning with other schools and my main professional learning was the power of a growth mindset and student voice. I learnt how to plan a scheme of work which underpinned improving student confidence in Art. I had to be innovative and creative in my approach to this scheme of work to really find ways which would enhance student confidence.
I showed the Austin’s butterfly clip of how you can improve in art & a clip about Chuck Close’s art – who is a disabled artist and how he improved despite difficulties.
Arranged for a Year 13 art student to show how her work had improved over time and talk to the class about her art journey. I also re-planned a scheme of work based on improving in art.
I allowed students to use any materials of their choice to improve in a medium they were not confident with, resulting in a highly differentiated project. I set students a task to redraft a work of art 5 times to get it to their best potential.
Using surveys, semi-structured interviews and assessing pupils’ outcomes (artwork).
Quantitative google forms, showing pie charts, graphs, numerical data. Students’ grades.
Qualitative: Face-to-face interviews, students written reflections and google form reflections. Interactions in lessons with students.
Narrow your focus down after the initial scanning. Use the questions and listen to the students. Respond. You’ll be amazed at the difference these simple steps make. I really enjoyed this project and felt it made an impact on my learners’ confidence.