Best Practice

Six steps for a positive mindset in the maths classroom

If a student believes they are not good at maths it can have a negative impact on their attitude and confidence. Alexandra Riley offers six tips to help shift young people’s mindset and make a positive difference to their outcomes

Earlier this year, thousands of families, communities, organisations and schools joined forces to celebrate National Numeracy Day. Amid the many wonderful virtual sessions, a theme kept recurring: How can we boost number confidence?

You will have all heard the exclamation “I can’t do maths!” echo around the classroom. So, how can we help young people to stop believing this and to positively engage with their maths education?

One answer lies in changing students’ perceptions of their ability or, to use another phrase, mindset. According to Professor Carol Dweck (2007), everyone has a mindset – an idea about their own potential which determines their beliefs and behaviours. Many of you will be familiar with her theory:

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