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Growth Mindset in the Western Cape

location_on South Africa

Assisting learners in understanding that their intelligence can be developed through effort.

The Growth Mindset curriculum instills the belief in students from low-income neighbourhoods that intelligence is not fixed but rather something to grow through effort and perseverance. In contrast to conventional approaches to improve educational outcomes, Growth Mindset focuses on cultivating socio-emotional intelligence. As the first of its kind in the country, the programme proves powerful.


HundrED has not validated this innovation

Anyone can submit their innovation to HundrED Open. All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED. Innovation page has been created by Kiara Klitzner on July 7th, 2021






Target group
November 22nd, 2022
Growth Mindset was designed to make students more resilient in times of difficulty. We teach kids about literacy and numeracy, but we don't focus on how to build grit, and respond to challenges.
Director of Policy, Research and Analysis in the Department of the Premier, WCG

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

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.

How does your innovation work in practice?

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.

How has it been spreading?

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.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

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.

Spread of the innovation

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