Representing an educational innovation, the Growth Mindset Course is delivered via WhatsApp, a platform accessible to the vast majority of youth in South Africa.
Representing an educational innovation, the Growth Mindset Course is delivered via WhatsApp, a platform accessible to the vast majority of youth in South Africa.

SACAP’s skills nano course promotes a growth mindset among SA youth

By MaryAnne Isaac Time of article published Sep 17, 2021

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The South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) has partnered with The Knowledge Trust to create a skills nano-course on WhatsApp that aims to shift hundreds of thousands of young people from a fixed to a growth mindset.

The partnership strives to build a simple yet highly effective course to transfer essential personal development skills to 380 000 Knowledge Trust members to help set them up for success in their training and work.

Representing an educational innovation, the Growth Mindset Course is delivered via WhatsApp, a platform accessible to the vast majority of youth in South Africa.

Dr Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, is a leading researcher on motivation and mindsets, and her work focuses on why and how people create success.

Dweck says people with a growth mindset see their skills, talents and abilities as a work in progress, and believe they have the capacity to improve their knowledge, abilities and gain experience in the course of their lifetime.

She adds that those with a fixed mindset tend to believe that their intelligence cannot be enhanced, and that their skills and talents will always be what they are.

“These two opposite mindsets have a seminal impact on our openness to learning, the effort we put in, our tendency to ask for help, accepting feedback from others, and also affects our success in our endeavours and the achievement of our goals,” she said.

The Knowledge Trust has a network of 380 000 members, mostly under 25 years and more than 70% of them are women. The organisation has established growth mindset as a critical success factor, and carries out assessments of its members to measure their job readiness and identify development opportunities.

Jaryd Raizon, manager of The Knowledge Trust in South Africa, revealed that growth mindset levels were low, resulting in 80% of members being excluded from learnership and other opportunities because of their fixed mindsets.

“This is not surprising as many of our members come from fragile homes and communities where it is just lucky, not the norm, to encounter positive role models. Limitations are all around you, dominating how you see the world and your potential in it every day. These are circumstances that cultivate a fixed mindset.”

Karolyne Williams, SACAP’s head of strategic innovation, says that they were intrigued with the idea of designing a short course that could help people shift from a fixed to a growth mindset using WhatsApp.

“We were invited by the Knowledge Trust to be involved as we are passionate about improving youth unemployment. We also know that a fixed mindset can be shifted to a growth mindset through training. Young people in South Africa need more than just vision or goals for their lives. They need to have the necessary tools and personal finance to turn their dreams into realities.

“The training opens their eyes to what they can do to drive their own development and helps them realise they are capable of much more than they think.”

If you would like to sign up for the Growth Mindset Course, visit: knowledgetrust.org/growth-mindset-course/

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