Improving learner achievement in South Africa: a policy proposition for a growth mindset approach to enhance learner support at basic education level

OUTPUT TYPE: Policy briefs
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Yu, G.Frempong, L.Winnaar
DEPARTMENT: Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES), Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 8510
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/2079

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Knowledge of conventional factors influencing learner achievement mainly focuses on tangible factors, such as school resources, teachers' qualifications and experience, class size and language of instruction. Non-conventional factors, such as aspirations, expectations and motivation, are also found to be crucial in driving learner achievement, but have received minimal attention in South Africa's educational policy and practice. In this policy brief, we provide research evidence indicating the need to include these non-conventional factors in policy decisions to improve learning outcomes. We specifically advocate the integration of the 'growth mindset approach' into current education policy, in order to yield better returns on our educational investment. We suggest that this integration be carried out through professional development programmes at national, provincial and district levels, so that in the near future, current teachers and those entering the teaching profession will have the capability to employ this approach in their teaching practices.