Exploring the Designing of a Growth Mindset Curriculum in a Singaporean School

Project Number
OER 15/15 CL

Project Duration
January 2016 - November 2017

Status
In-Progress

Abstract
This is a baseline study with the aim to describe what is happening in a Singapore school in its endeavour to design its school’s own curriculum to improve the practice of teaching and learning. As a mark of educational maturity and progress, it is crucial for Singapore schools to progress into the phase of school-based curriculum designing, so that each school will feel a sense of agency and ownership of their own school curricula. In this project, we will explore the interpretation of a growth mindset curriculum in the Singaporean context, and how school leaders prepare for the implementation of such a curriculum, to make it part of the culture and routines of the school experience. Mindsets are sets of beliefs that people have about students’ intelligence (Dweck, 2006). Teachers, parents and students who have a fixed mindset believe that intelligence is a static trait: some students are smart and some are not. Those who have a growth mindset believe that intelligence c... an be developed by various means (Dweck, 2010). It is recognised that the Singaporean high-stakes examination culture has engendered a fixed mindset with its negative side effects in our society. How can we nurture a growth mindset (e.g. resilience; learning from productive failure; capacity to adapt, change and grow) in our context? The leaders of the case school are working on a school-wide experience of developing a growth mindset among students, teachers and support staff for learning, teaching and administrative support work. This is part of their strategic plan for the next five years. We would like to study how the curriculum leaders of the case school interpret and envision the concept of growth mindset, and how they will translate this concept into curriculum (e.g. in pedagogical and assessment practices). What factors are considered in the designing of a school-wide experience of nurturing a growth mindset? As such, the research methods will include analyses of curriculum documents; interviews with key personnel involved in the envisioning and design of the curriculum; interviews with teachers; and observations at staff meetings. It is hoped that the findings from this study can be used to inform a subsequent study that looks into co-designing a growth mindset curriculum with other schools. Through this research effort, we hope to be able to develop a growth mindset curriculum that is unique to the Singaporean educational context, maintaining the rigor of a quality curriculum yet nurturing a citizenry with a growth mindset.

Funding Source
NIE

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