Sep 25
University or vocational training: how to choose what is right for you

Issued by: Oxbridge Academy


With South Africa's high unemployment rates and limited university spaces, matriculants are often urged to opt for vocational training. But an education expert says many people don't understand the various options available for school-leavers, and even fewer understand the opportunities available to those who follow the vocational training path.

"Vocational training refers to training that is specific to a career or a trade, meaning that it focuses on the practical application of skills in the workplace. Instead of just giving you theoretical knowledge about a certain field, vocational training helps you develop practical skills to perform a certain role, and enables you to be productive from the first day that you walk into a job," says Barend van den Berg, MD of Oxbridge Academy, SA's fastest growing distance learning provider, responsible for the education of more than 20 000 students annually.

Van den Berg says there are countless benefits to pursuing a vocational qualification, but despite this, there is still a misguided perception that such a qualification counts for less than a basic degree from a university.

"Obtaining a degree gives you substantial theoretical knowledge in your chosen field of study, but that does not mean that you are prepared for the workplace or that you possess the practical skills you need to perform a particular job role," notes Van den Berg.

"Although theoretical knowledge provides a foundation for further exploration and thought leadership, vocational training develops practical, immediately relevant, skills which open doors in the job market. The perception that vocational training is worth less than a degree is therefore false, as vocational learners acquire both theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills, which better equips them for workplace integration."

 

Van den Berg says the career options in the vocational sector are virtually endless, and incorporate almost all sectors of the economy.

"Depending on which vocational training programme you complete, you could pursue a career as an electrician, motor mechanic, boilermaker, beautician, bookkeeper, computer programmer, graphic designer, office assistant, childminder, or HR practitioner, to name only a few of the options," he says.

"It is also worth mentioning that it has become common practice for millennials to move around in the workplace and they often change careers. Vocational training is ideal for them, as it gives them hands-on skills and is an accessible form of studying, enabling them to earn while they learn."

In addition to being an effective way to open doors to many careers, vocational training is also a great option for aspiring entrepreneurs, says Van den Berg.

"Since these courses prepare you for the workplace, and are designed to fill workplace skills gaps, you have a good chance of finding a job. Most employers are familiar with these types of national qualifications, and recognise their value. And if you have entrepreneurial ambitions, you also have the opportunity to gain relevant knowledge and practical skills that will enable you to start your own business."

A further positive aspect is the remuneration potential for those in vocational careers.

"When it comes to remuneration, research has shown that vocational careers are often high-paying positions, and it is not unusual for someone with a technical qualification from a college to out-earn their peers with a general academic degree from a university," says Van den Berg.

"This is because of the high demand in South Africa for a range of skills that will allow you to earn a lucrative salary if you have the right certification, experience, and training. Land surveyors, electrical technicians, riggers, executive assistants, HR professionals, Web and software developers, and sales managers, for instance, are all positions that can be reached without a degree, and can pay between R35 000 and R75 000 per month."

Ultimately, prospective students should make the decision about what and where to study only after having considered all their options, says Van den Berg.

But, very importantly, this consideration should include the realisation that a university degree is not the only, or even best, option for everyone.

"Both a vocational qualification and a university degree are extremely valuable, but it depends on what you want to do with your life. If you want hands-on training that will help you gain the skills you need to pursue a specific career or trade, consider vocational training. If you want more in-depth theoretical training in your field, or if you want to pursue a profession that requires you to earn a degree (for example doctor, lawyer, or psychologist), consider university education," he says.



Sep 19
Degrees of success: why you need to consider studying further
Getting a foot in the door of an agency, business or organisation you’d really love to work for is not always as easy as putting on your Sunday best and flashing the interviewer your brightest, most charming smile. Often, what they’re looking for is actually just a tertiary qualification, which is why many young people place more emphasis on obtaining an undergraduate degree.

However, the mistake so many people make is believing that an undergrad qualification is all they need to build a successful and fulfilling career. Most don’t even consider the possibility of taking their studies further, and pursuing honours and post-graduate studies. Vega (a brand of The Independent Insitute of Education – The IIE) conducted a study which found that 95% of its IIE graduates in 2016 found jobs within six months after graduating, which shows why so many young people are opting to complete undergraduate studies alone, and avoid looking into studying further.

“The reality is that, while an undergraduate degree might make you stand out more among other less qualified candidates applying for a job, opting against honours or post-graduate studies robs you of bigger career opportunities, and limits your ability to make a real difference within your industry and the world at large,” says Dr Carla Enslin, Head of Strategy & New Business Development at Vega.

“Because you’re focused on a specific area of study, you’ll also have the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded people in pursuit of the same or a similar career goal – perhaps you’ll join forces to turn an innovative idea into a meaningful, award-winning reality? The possibilities at this stage are endless,” she continues.

Post-graduate studies allow students to delve deeper into their chosen field and gather more in-depth knowledge, where undergraduate studies are designed to introduce you to concepts and new ways of thinking. The learnings gained during post- graduate studies are therefore invaluable, as students develop the mental agility and capacity to make compelling arguments, as well as analyse and conceive meaningful solutions to challenges.

Resourcefulness, interpersonal skills, and practical and logical thinking are just some of the important skills that are honed during honours and postgraduate studies, contributing toward a wider, more all-encompassing view for personal as well as professional improvement.
Is honours or post-graduate studies the right road for me?

The deeper, more meaningful learning and engagement that happens during honours and post- graduate study is rewarding – but only if your interest (and perhaps even passion) for your field of work is genuine. There’s no sense choosing to study further because someone told you to – this is when the work can become laborious and demotivating.

Enrol for the post-graduate programme of your choice when you have no doubts that you are genuinely compelled by the complexities and challenges of the field and its relation to the world around you.

For example, you may find that you’re naturally inclined towards themes and issues that are relevant to your field, whether it’s in current affairs and industry news or even the plot of a new TV series. The ideal post-graduate programme should then enable you to involve yourself in your field of choice to the fullest extent while honing your abilities and skills. It should also expose you to unique opportunities to apply advanced thinking into practice, to work on real-life briefs and projects, ideally participating in trans-disciplinary teams.

Pursuing an honours or post-graduate qualification is about so much more than boosting employability – it enables students to delve deeper than what they were able to do during undergraduate studies, thereby gaining vital skills and perspectives that not only boost their chances of getting that seat at the table, but also contributing something meaningful to their field.


Sep 17
PUBLIC UNIVERSITY OR PRIVATE? HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT INSTITUTION FOR YOU.

There have been many developments in the higher education sector in past decades, notably a rise in the number of institutions from which prospective students can choose when considering their further education. Along with the increase in public universities, there has also been substantial growth in the private higher education sector.

Faced with this increase in choice, it is natural for young people to be anxious about their decision – should I go to a public university, or should I opt for a private higher education institution? A massive part of this concern, is whether the qualification you receive after 3 or 4 years of study, will be respected in the world of work, whether it will position you well to land your first job, and whether it will help you build the career of your dreams.

"It is so important that future students don't base their decision on their gut feel or vague perceptions," says Dr Felicity Coughlan, Director of The Independent Institute of Education and Group Academic Director at ADvTECH, Africa's largest private education provider.

She says there is a concrete checklist that prospective students should measure their chosen institution against and, if all the boxes are checked, they can rest assured that their choice of institution can help them achieve their dreams.

"Ultimately, you have to make an informed choice based on your personal vision and circumstances, and you should not blindly follow a direction just because everyone else is going that route, or because you think that's the way to go," Coughlan says.

She advises prospective students, and their parents or guardians, to look at the following when considering or reviewing higher education institutions:

ACCREDITATION

Most importantly, your institution must be registered and accredited. South Africa has a single quality assurance system and one National Qualifications Framework, which means that any institution offering a registered and accredited qualification – whether public university or private – is offering a qualification of equal standing. So if your institution is listed on the Department of Higher Education and Training's list* of registered higher education institutions and colleges, you don't need to be concerned about whether the institution is called a university, a college, or a private higher education institution.

This is because the only difference between public (University) institutions and private higher education institutions – which purely as a result of regulations may not refer to themselves as private universities - is that the public institutions get some subsidy from the government while the private institutions don't.

EMPLOYER RECOGNITION

The world of work has changed dramatically over the past decade, and the economic climate is tough. That means prospective students should make sure that their qualification and their choice of institution is well respected by employers and in the market. Generic 3-year degrees with no practical experience do not provide a strong competitive advantage after graduation.

This means that young people should interrogate their institution about the following: curriculum, industry relationships, lecturer activity in the industry, and practical experience that form part of the studies.

The strongest qualifications today are the ones that are closely linked to specific careers and fields, and whose curricula are based on the competencies required to be work-ready from day one.

One way of determining industry recognition of your institution, is to ask about its career fairs, when the country's top companies visit campuses to meet students. If employers are lining up to meet the leaders of tomorrow at your institution, you can be assured that you are signing up for a quality education that is respected in the workplace.

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION

Many students want to know that their qualifications will be internationally recognised. If this is important for you, you should ask your institution about international links and accreditation. Does your institution have links with international exchange programmes, or is it accredited by an independent international accreditation council? All good institutions should be able to provide satisfactory answers to your questions about your potential international opportunities.

CLASS SIZES & STUDENT SUPPORT

Class sizes and student support are crucial for ensuring student success and successful transition into the world of work. Individual attention, and being more than a number, can dramatically influence student outcomes. But an institution's involvement should go further than quality lectures and success at exam time. Good institutions will have career centres which assist students and alumni beyond academics.

"The higher education landscape looks entirely different today from the way things were even a decade ago. These days, prospective students have a lot more choice in terms of institution and qualification," says Coughlan.

"To really make the right choice in terms of the best grounding for your career dreams, you have to look beyond historical perceptions and gut feelings about which way is 'the best' way, and make sure your choice is based on the facts about what makes one institution and qualification stand out from the next one," she says.

*www.dhet.gov.za/SitePages/DocRegisters.aspx


Sep 14
Learner aualifies for World Triathle Champs

George Herald

Marcus Kleynhans, from Glenwood College, has qualified for the World Triathle Championships in Egypt from 25 to 28 October. 

He will be accompanied by two athletes from Mossel Bay, Johan Windt, the defending world champion in the Masters C category, and Zhané Vorster. 

Triathle is a new development initiative by UIPM where athletes compete in three different events as a part of a single race: shooting, swimming and running. 



Sep 14
Let’s talk peer pressure – and how to help your child overcome it

​Article by Ria van Niekerk – Deputy Principal Trinityhouse Preparatory Randpark Ridge 

Most people think that peer pressure is a bad thing; however, some peer pressure can be good

Merriam-Webster defines peer pressure as: “A feeling that one must do the same things as other people of one’s age and social group in order to be liked or respected by them.”

Children of all ages experience peer pressure. Most people think peer pressure is a bad thing (stealing, smoking, taking drugs, drinking alcohol); however, some peer pressure can be good. Your child wants to be liked and to do the right thing. As a parent, you can help your child deal with peer pressure and make good choices at every age and stage.

Welcome positive peer pressure

If another child is pushing your child toward something better, that is a good thing. It might help your child socially or academically.

For example, it might encourage your child to participate in the school talent show or rugby trials.

Understand negative peer pressure

Your child wants to fit in, doesn’t want to feel rejected or teased, and isn’t sure how to get out of a bad situation. Start early by preparing your young child for peer pressure. When they are in preschool, tell them not to copy silly or bad behaviour.

For example, if a friend or classmate pressures them to take something that doesn’t belong to them, teach them how to say “no” and walk away.

As your child goes through preparatory school, talk with them about smoking, drugs, and alcohol. Peer pressure can cause kids to sneak out of the house, bunk school, drive without a licence (or ride with an underage driver), steal, vandalise property, and cheat, too. Give your child ideas of what to say when pressured. Practise this “role playing” often. This helps your child get out of a bad situation. Tell your child they can blame you if they need to get out of a bad situation. Give your child a special code word to say or text you if they can’t get out of a situation on their own. This will signal that they need help.

Share your family values

It’s important to let your child know how you feel about stealing, cheating, bullying, and more. When a child knows something is wrong, they will think twice before agreeing to do it.

Encourage your child to feel good about him or herself. Celebrate their achievements and praise them when they make good choices. Children who feel good about themselves are more likely to resist negative peer pressure. The same is true with friendships. Children who have friends whose families share your values are more likely to resist negative peer pressure. Monitor your child’s friendships (in-person and online).

There may be a day when your child makes a bad choice because of peer pressure. When this happens, remain calm. It’s a good opportunity to teach your child about choices and having the courage to say no.

Negative peer pressure can have a downward spiral effect. This means that pressure to commit small wrongs can lead to more serious bad behaviour. For example, if your child is easily pressured to take things that don’t belong to him, he or she might one day agree to experiment with shoplifting.

Don’t forget about pressure from social media and the internet

Don’t forget that the media and internet are forms of peer pressure. What your children hear and see on TV and online can influence your child’s choices.

Monitor these influences by:

  • Limiting your child’s exposure to TV and the internet. Consider your child’s age and other responsibilities (homework, job, family time) to decide on how much time he or she should be allowed to watch TV or explore the internet.

  • Monitoring what your child watches or views on the internet. You can see your child’s internet search history on a computer. You also can check your child’s phone to see what apps he or she has downloaded. Require your child to provide his or her passwords in return for the privilege of accessing TV and digital media.

  • Learning more about the music your child listens to. Some song lyrics can send powerful, negative messages.

  • Watching TV or searching the internet together. This gives you an opportunity to reinforce your family values. It also gives you an opportunity to sort out fact from fiction on certain things (drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, etc.).

  • Securing your home’s TV and online devices. Most cable, internet, and cell phone providers have parent control settings that restrict inappropriate material from children.

  • Monitoring your child’s electronic use at their friend’s homes or when friends bring electronic devices to your home (laptops, tablets, phones). Tell your child what is and what is not allowed.



Sep 11
ADvTECH ADDS MONASH SOUTH AFRICA TO GROWING HIGHER EDUCATION PORTFOLIO

Africa's largest private education group, ADvTECH, continues to consolidate its position in the tertiary education sector with the acquisition of MSA, a leading South African private tertiary education institution with students from more than 50 countries. The acquisition will bring ADvTECH's tertiary student complement to more than 40 000 full-time and 30 000 distance students.

MSA, a joint venture between the prestigious Monash University and Laureate Education Inc., the world's largest private higher education network, offers a world-class education environment, with a strong track record for student employability, outstanding pass rates and qualification completion times, which perfectly complements ADvTECH's existing offering. MSA's reputation for academic excellence aligns with ADvTECH's values and will support its growth strategy.  The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), ADvTECH's higher education division, together with its existing brands Varsity College, Rosebank College, Vega and now MSA, positions the company well to further develop its reputation as South Africa's leading private Higher Education provider.

The MSA campus, located on Johannesburg's West Rand, is one of the largest private higher education precincts in the country. With a capacity for 6 500 students, it boasts extensive sports facilities, laboratories, and 4 student residences, creating a university-like environment for students drawn from across the continent.

In addition to a state-of-the-art campus, MSA also brings to the ADvTECH portfolio a comprehensive suite of premium programmes, an extensive executive education and training portfolio, as well as new, highly sought-after programs such as engineering and public health.

Prof. Alwyn Louw, CEO and Academic President of MSA, says MSA is excited about becoming part of ADvTECH, as well as the opportunities that a new steward with local insights, views and experiences will bring to the development of high-quality education for South Africa.

Commenting on the transaction, ADvTECH Group CEO Roy Douglas said: "We are delighted with the addition of MSA to our existing high-quality academic offering and look forward to integrating it into the group following the finalisation of regulatory and competition commission approval processes. MSA's track record of academic excellence, along with its growth prospects, aligns perfectly with the strategic imperatives of ADvTECH."

"Organic growth is a key measure of our business, and together with acquisitions that add value to our existing portfolio, form an important part of our strategy," Douglas says.

This transaction follows a number of other recent acquisitions by ADvTECH in the Tertiary Education sector, including Capsicum Culinary Studio, The Private Hotel School and Oxbridge Academy.


Sep 11
SENS Announcement

ADvTECH Limited

(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)

(Registration number 1990/001119/06)

Share code: ADH         

ISIN: ZAE000031035

("ADvTECH" or "the Company")

ADvTECH ADDS MONASH SOUTH AFRICA TO GROWING HIGHER EDUCATION PORTFOLIO

In terms of section 9.15 of the Listings Requirements, shareholders are advised that ADvTECH, through its subsidiary, The Independent Institute of Education Proprietary Limited, has agreed to the key terms of a proposed transaction with Monash South Africa Limited (MSA) and LEI AMEA Investments BV, which will see ADvTECH acquiring control of the MSA business ("the Business"), as well as the related property company, Laureate SA Proprietary Limited ("the Property Company"). Finalisation of the transaction is subject to the fulfilment of conditions relating to the proposed acquisition.

Africa's largest private education group ADvTECH, continues to consolidate its position in the tertiary education sector with the acquisition of MSA, a leading South African private tertiary education institution with students from more than 50 countries. The acquisition will bring ADvTECH's tertiary student complement to more than 40, 000 full time and 30, 000 distance students, along with a comprehensive suite of premium programs, an extensive executive education and training portfolio, and new highly sought-after programmes such as engineering and public health.

RATIONALE FOR THE TRANSACTION:

MSA, a joint venture between the prestigious Monash University and Laureate Education, Inc., the world's largest private higher education network, offers a world-class education environment, with a strong track record for outstanding pass rates, qualification completion times and student employability, which perfectly complements ADvTECH's existing offering. MSA's reputation for academic excellence aligns with ADvTECH's values and will support its growth strategy.  The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), ADvTECH's higher education division, together with its existing brands Varsity College, Rosebank College and Vega and now MSA, positions us well to further develop our reputation as a leading private Higher Education provider.

The MSA campus, located on Johannesburg's West Rand, is one of the largest private higher education precincts in the country. With a capacity for 6 500 students, it boasts extensive sports facilities, laboratories and 4 student residences, creating a university-like environment for students drawn from across the continent.

Prof. Alwyn Louw, CEO and Academic President of MSA, says MSA is excited about becoming part of ADvTECH, as well as the opportunities that a new steward with local insights, views and experiences will bring to the development of high-quality education for South Africa.

Commenting on the transaction, ADvTECH Group CEO Roy Douglas said: "We are delighted with the addition of MSA to our existing high-quality academic offering and look forward to integrating it into the group following the finalisation of regulatory and competition commission approval processes. MSA's track record of academic excellence, along with its growth prospects, aligns perfectly with the strategic imperatives of ADvTECH."

"Organic growth is a key measure of our business, and together with acquisitions that add value to our existing portfolio, form an important part of our strategy," Douglas says.

This transaction follows a number of other recent acquisitions by ADvTECH in the Tertiary Education sector, including Capsicum Culinary Studio, The Private Hotel School and Oxbridge Academy.

EFFECTIVE DATE AND CONDITIONS PRECEDENT:

The transaction will become effective once all the conditions precedent to the offer have been met.

Conditions Precedent include the approval of the Competition Commission, approval of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the Council on Higher Education (CHE), and any exchange control approvals which may be required in terms of the Exchange Control Regulations. All things being equal, it is expected that the Effective Date will be on or about 1 January 2019. Shareholders will be advised accordingly.

TRANSACTION CONSIDERATION & OTHER TERMS:

The transaction consideration will entail an amount of R343 million, plus cash on hand and working capital adjustments at Effective Date. In order to not fall foul of Section 9.8(d) of the Listings Requirements regarding being deemed a Category 1 transaction, a maximum consideration of R500 million has been agreed, however, based on current estimates of likely working capital adjustments, the final consideration is expected to be well below the maximum.

NET ASSETS & ATTRIBUTABLE PROFITS:

As at the audited last year end being 31 December 2017, the combined Net Asset Value ("NAV") of the Business and the Property Company was R330 million.

The consolidated pro forma results of the business being acquired reflects a profit after taxation for the year ended December 2017 of R9,6 million. Significant synergies have already been identified and are expected to benefit the enlarged group. This forward looking statement has not been reviewed nor reported on by the Company's external auditors.

MOI:

Laureate South Africa, the related property company will become a subsidiary of The Independent Institute of Education, a major subsidiary of ADvTECH.  The MOI will be amended so as to conform to Schedule 10.21 of the Listings Requirements, as required.

CATEGORISATION OF THE TRANSACTION:

For purposes of categorisation, the transaction is deemed a category 2 transaction, given the maximum cash consideration payable, or potentially payable in terms of the agreed terms.

 

11 September 2018

Johannesburg

Sponsor: Bridge Capital Advisors Proprietary Limited

Sep 10
Rosebank College to host its first Jobs of the Future: ICT event

Rosebank College, an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, will host its first Jobs of the Future in ICT event at its Pretoria Sunnyside Campus on 19 October 2018.

The event will explore what future jobs in ICT will look like, the skills needed and how graduates can future proof their careers.

The corporate environment is changing quickly and many jobs will disappear in the next few years, according to a report from PwC. Automation and machines are replacing human tasks, changing the skills that companies are looking for in the people they employ. Nobody can say for sure what the future holds. However, we can make educated guesses based on past and current trends. Predicting the jobs of the future requires understanding that all kinds of variables will interact in complex and surprising ways. Many of tomorrows jobs will likely result from today's scientific and technological advances. But most jobs of the future don't exist yet, and a lot of them haven't even been imagined. In fact, almost two-thirds of today's nursery school students will eventually have occupations that don't currently exist.

However, many of today's occupations will continue to be part of the future, but they will undergo changes just like everything else. And many occupations will transform into something entirely new, or disappear altogether.

 

The key to long-term success lies in the ability to understand change almost before it occurs and seize the opportunity to shape evolving technologies. So, what kind of changes do we foresee?

The Internet of things

Many of us already have three or more full-time devices connected to the Internet. Sensors are being embedded in shoes, and medicine like asthma inhalers and medical exploratory surgery devices are being technologically adapted, which will surely change the fields of fashion, medicine and design.

Zetta flood

Improved networks will be developed that will be required to move more data and create what is currently termed a "zetta flood". The sheer amount of data being transmitted across the internet is growing at a terrific rate and this flood of data may threaten to overwhelm the Internet.

Evolution of the cloud

By 2020, one-third of all data will live in or pass through the cloud. Global cloud services revenue is estimated to jump 20% per year, and IT spending on innovation and cloud computing is already in its trillions, which is enough to create the next Google. This cloud evolution will change the way we communicate.

The pace of change in the job market is expected to accelerate by 2020. Office and administrative functions, along with manufacturing and production roles, will see dramatic declines accounting for over six million roles over the next four years. Artificial intelligence, 3D printing, resource-efficient sustainable production and robotics will factor into the ways we currently make, manage and mend products and deliver services.

 http://pressoffice.mg.co.za/RosebankCollege/index.php



Sep 06
Reasons Why Smaller Class Size Is So Important in Education

​Abbotts College

A smaller class will ultimately make a more cohesive unit than a larger one. A class of 30+ students allows for the formation of cliques even within the class, as well as ensures not all students need to engage each other - students can often stick to who they are comfortable with. However, in a smaller classroom setting, students will have the opportunity to interact with and form relationships with all of their classmates, ensuring that the class is more supportive of each other. #SmallClassSizes #AbbottsOffering#AbbottsColleges


In large classes, teachers can struggle to identify where problems might be arising, and then because their time is so valuable, they further struggle to adequately address these issues. When a teacher has 30 essays to grade, they will spend less time on each one and potentially glaze over flaws in writing skills that could be fixed with minimal instruction. Within these kinds of spaces, where teachers are spending too little time watching for and addressing individual issues, students begin to slip through the cracks.#SmallClassSizes #AbbottsOffering #AbbottsCollege


In smaller classes, students will have three times more individual face time with their teacher. This type of educating is critical, both for development of skills and for inspiring students. With more one-on-one time with their teacher, students are certain to have a greater sense that their teacher cares for them, and when students feel like someone they look up to cares about their work, they excel. #SmallClassSizes #AbbottsOffering #AbbottsCollege




Sep 06
Building a growth mindset

How to help your child learn from mistakes and not give up in the face of failure…

In today’s competitive environment, where some toddlers attend maths development classes and other youngsters are pushed to start reading fluently before they enter Grade 1, parents can be forgiven for being concerned about the future of their children who show signs of struggling academically or otherwise.

But one of South Africa’s leading education experts says that the situation can and must be turned around before it spirals out of control and negatively impacts – unnecessarily so – on a child’s entire sense of self and self-esteem. And the way to do this is to cultivate a “growth mindset”, she says.

“Children who think their intelligence and ability is ‘fixed’ – that they are stuck at a certain level of smarts – tend to do less well than those who think that they can, with perseverance, achieve at anything they set their minds to,” says Traci Salter*, Strategic Academic Development Advisor at ADvTECH, Africa’s largest private education provider.

“However learners who understand that their intelligence or skill level can be improved by effort and experimentation seek more challenges, learn from mistakes and don’t give up in the face of failure,” she says.

The Growth Mindset

The concept of the Growth Mindset was pioneered by Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, and draws on neuroscience showing that a learner’s brain can improve with dedicated effort. Her research showed that personal qualities and abilities are not fixed, but can change with a simple change in approach.

Dweck’s research further showed that how children think about themselves has a significant impact on learning; with a strong connection between students’ motivation to learn a new skill and how they perceived their intelligence.

“Cultivating a growth mindset in one’s child is not a complicated process, and it can be given immediate and significant momentum with just one little word: yet,” says Salter.

For instance, if Anna is having trouble with language learning skills, explain that she isn’t goodyet. If Mandla can’t get to grips with algebra, it is because he hasn’t grasped it yet. Emphasise that with effort, they will eventually master these skills.

Carol Dweck recommends we ensure that children know “it is okay and safe to fail, and that taking risks and learning from failure can lead to invention and creativity”, notes Salter, adding that the way we praise our children also plays an important role.

“Dweck advised that, rather than using general praise, for instance saying ‘you can do it because you are so smart’, parents and teachers should praise specific efforts that lead to improvements such as focus, persistence and work habits. For instance, one could say ‘you’re doing a great job organising your science fair experiment. It will give you plenty of time to practise presenting.

“This takes the spotlight off fixed ability and puts it on the process of learning and developing.”

Following Dweck’s strategies, Salter says there are three steps parents can take to help their children develop a growth mindset:

1. Have daily learning discussions

At dinner, in the car or at bedtime take time for both children and parents to share the answers to these types of questions:

  • “What did you learn today?” (Instead of “How was your day?”)
  • “What mistake did you make that taught you something today?
  • “What did you try that you found hard today?”

It is important for parents and guardians to share their learning as well, because it models to children that even grownups learn new things every day, and learn from failures.

2. Give feedback on process only

Praise effort by children – for instance, persistence, thinking of alternate strategies, seeking new opportunities, setting ongoing goals, planning for achieving these, and considering creative alternates to the challenge at hand.

Don’t praise personal abilities like being smart, pretty, or artistic. This kind of praise could actually lead to a loss of confidence since children won’t be smart at everything. They’ll doubt their ability to master something that is difficult initially.

3. Encourage risk, failing and learning from mistakes

Failure teaches our children important life lessons. For one, it’s how they learn resilience, perseverance and self-motivation. Now is the time to let our children risk and fail. But we often want to prevent our children from failing, from feeling upset or sad. Don’t.

“We must let our children experience some failures while they are young, so that they can strengthen their growth mindset muscles. If we don’t, they will become adults with no perseverance, or belief in their abilities to work hard and succeed,” says Salter.

“And when the going gets tough, and challenges feel extra challenging, we should help our children celebrate the fact that they are learning and building mental muscle. Tell them about all the famous people who failed and didn’t give up, like Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey, and remind them that every challenge provides an opportunity to become more empowered.”

* About Traci Salter:

Traci Salter is the Academic Strategic Development Advisor for ADvTECH Schools and an International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) trainer, educator and evaluation team member. She has extensive international experience spanning more than a decade implementing the IBO curriculum across the English School Foundation’s private schools in Hong Kong. As an IBEN Educator, Salter continues to lead ongoing professional development and training for IBO schools across Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. She is currently part of an international panel of experts exploring and responding to the research findings of Incept Labs in Australia, on the implementation and embedding of 21st century pedagogies and skills in schools across the globe.





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