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"I'm just no-good at Maths"

We see it time and again. In the introduction to our Private Student Coaching program, we conduct an in-depth 460-point interview with the student. This interview delves into practical study skills being used such as note-taking, memorisation and exam-question strategies. The interview also turns attention to a student's mindset, or attitude.

Developing the right mindset and approach is a precondition to using effective study skills. That is to say, a student may be able to make excellent notes, but if they hold self-limiting beliefs, they are likely to hinder their own progress in the mid-to-long term. This means that cultivating the right set of beliefs is critical. One of our presenters, Ben, talks to students below about the importance of cultivating a Growth Mindset.

So what can you do if your child is exhibiting a fixed mindset?

The first step is to help your child understand the fact that their perspectives and attitudes have a fundamental impact on their results. That is, the first step in overcoming a fixed mind set is to acknowledge that we have one.

Once you have had this conversation, it is useful to gain an understanding around where a certain belief such as 'I'm not a math student' originated from. Quite often, these negative beliefs were planted at a young age. Perhaps it was in Year 7 when the content became a bit more complex? Maybe it was recently when they got a bad mark on one of their tests? The important step here is establishing an understanding as to what caused your child to hold this belief so that we can begin to unpack it, and re-shape that belief. By re-framing their beliefs and expectations, we aim for students to orientate toward a Growth Mindset; the set of beliefs that it is hard-work and effort exertion, not raw talent on ability that impacts results.

See below how one of our coaches, Jason, debriefed his student's mother after a session with Kate and how they recognised the importance of belief and self-talk:

Of course, it can be difficult as a parent to have these sorts of conversations without them turning into arguments or dramatic interrogations. There are some softer ways to introduce your child to this idea:

1. Get them to watch the video above

2. Get them to search YouTube for 'Carol Dweck' or 'Angela Duckworth' who explain these concepts in a non-threatening and accessible way

3. Get some extra assistance in the home from one of our study skills coaches.

We hope that helps, and that your child can appreciate that their beliefs shape their behaviours, and in turn their marks.

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