Towards a Growth Mindset in Assessment

Growth mindset approaches to assessment engages, motivate and provide relevant learning opportunities for every student.
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Common approaches to learning assessment can send negative messages and confuse students’ understanding of the relationship between effort and success. Reform is needed but it requires a shift towards a growth mindset, writes Professor Geoff Masters.

Current methods to define, evaluate and report on learning can shape beliefs about learning in unintended ways. Providing ‘success’ experiences can fail to challenge students and minimise learning by keeping them in their comfort zone. However, judging student performance against ‘standards’ can contribute to a fixed mindset about learning ability.

Masters advocates instead for an approach that assesses learning growth over time. For activities chosen to encourage further learning and for personalised learning targets. The expectation is that every student makes learning progress over the school year, regardless of where they start.

Learn how a growth mindset approach to assessment engages, motivates and provides relevant learning opportunities for every student.

This article was prepared for Horizon: Thought Leadership, a publication of the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership, Department of Education and Training, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last updated 12 April 2022