Doha, 18 August 2022 - B4Development (B4D) – a Qatar 2022 legacy project launched by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) – hosted its latest Legacy Majlis event in collaboration with Qatar Foundation at Al Bidda Tower. The event, which is part of a series of community of practice meetings which focus on behavioural economics, was attended by educators and policy makers who discussed the nurturing of a growth mindset in education.
The session featured keynote speaker Ammaarah Martinus, Senior Programme Officer at the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP). The institute advocates for social and emotional skills to be mainstreamed into education systems to transform education and shape a future that is geared towards providing peace and human flourishing. Ammaarah’s research focused on two main mindsets that drive the perceptions of a person’s abilities, talents, intelligence and skills, including a fixed and growth mindset.
For example, those with a fixed mindset believe that people are born with a specific degree of intelligence and talent, while those with a growth mindset believe that intelligence, talents and abilities can be further developed and improved through practice and hard work. Often, those with a growth mindset are more passionate about learning and more resilient to failure.
“To understand growth mindset, you actually need to look at it from a fixed mindset perspective,” said Martinus. “For example, looking at mathematics as something that you are never able to do well to moving to a position of a growth mindset, which says that with effort and perseverance, you are able to do solve mathematical equations over time. You move across a continuum from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. That’s what we really want to advocate – looking at education through a social and emotional skills’ lens by using methodologies like growth mindset that can really shift the inequality dial and close the opportunity gap in poorer communities.”
The session also looked at the benefits of developing a growth mindset in the world of sport with athletes and coaches.
“We are applying growth mindset in ‘football for development’ settings with our SC sister legacy initiative Generation Amazing, that not only target learners but also coaches,” said B4D Director, Dr Fadi Makki.
“When coaches have a fixed mindset, they tend to spend less time on athletes they deem to be less talented. However, when coaches have a growth mindset, they are process-oriented and work with players to improve, irrespective of results. This has huge potential for changing the way coaches praise their players, the way they reframe mistakes, and more importantly, the way they foster inclusion and diversity.”
Some of the key participants in the session included Dr. Leslie Alexander Pal, Founding Dean at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s College of Public Policy; Salah Khaled, Director of the Doha Office for Gulf States and Yemen, and the UNESCO Representative to Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen; Natra Abdulla, Founder and CEO of Artan Holding; Dr. Nader Kabbani, Director of Research and Senior Fellow, the Middle East Council on Global Affairs; Mashail Al Naimi, Head of Programs at Qatar Foundation; Sumaya Baqavi, Deputy Chief of Mission & Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Singapore to Qatar, and the B4D and Generation Amazing teams.
Founded in 2016 by the SC as the Qatar Behavioural Insights Unit, and incubated in the Office of the Secretary General, B4D is the Middle East and North Africa region’s first behavioural insights and nudge unit. In 2019, B4D was officially incorporated as a foundation under the Qatar Financial Centre, with a broader mandate to promote and replicate its nudge work and model around the world.