As a provincial government, one of the biggest priorities of the Western Cape Government (WCG) is education. The WCG is always looking for innovative, low-cost, and sustainable interventions to improve educational quality and student outcomes.
The programme consists of a GM curriculum and subsequent reinforcement sessions. The pilot was delivered electronically in afterschool programmes, but upon full-scale implementation takes place within school hours. The curriculum is comprised of five three-minute videos, which are watched over the course of one week. The videos follow two friendly monsters (age and race-neutral) during their journey of learning, failing, learning how to cope with failure, and trying again to succeed. After each video, students participated in reflection questions; high school students responded to these questions individually through the online interface, while primary students participated in group discussions guided by fieldworkers. The pilot's positive results (a baseline was established months before the intervention) demonstrated that you you could successfully focus on softer mind softer mindset shifts in parallel to curriculum implementation.
In 2017, the WCG, in partnership with World Bank and UC Davis, piloted a Growth Mindset programme to over 1000 primary (Grades 3 and 4) and high school (Grades 9 and 10) students across 20 schools in low-income communities. Following the pilot’s success, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is now formally implementing the programme across approximately 1 500 schools over the next 5 years.
In parallel to our intervention, the WCED designed a strategy for their new term of office - Transform to Perform (T2P). T2P aimed to shift the mindsets of everyone in the education system — education officials, school management, teachers and students. Growth Mindset is therefore a vital cog in the WCED's T2P strategy, which aims to target one million children in the next five years.
Growth Mindset was a collaborative effort between the Western Cape Government - Department of the Premier and Education Department, the World Bank’s Mind, Behavior, and Development Unit (eMBeD), the University of California Davis, and Class Dojo. If interest in the innovation exists, please get in touch with the Western Cape Government Departments mentioned above.