The belief systems regarding our own abilities and potential feed our behaviour and predict our success. Understanding this greatly derives from the works of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, who did a survey on the power of our conscious and unconscious beliefs. The simplest of these can have a deep impact on almost every aspect of our lives, starting with our school success. To sum up, people fluctuate between two MINDSETS:

The FIXED MINDSET, whereby people believe that their talents are innate gifts, leading them to think they have no effort to make.

The GROWTH MINDSET, whereby people think their talents may be developed (thanks to hard work, good strategies and input from others). These people tend to do more because they care less about seeming intelligent, and they spend more energy on learning.

During her research, Carol Dweck discovered that one of the most fundamental beliefs we have about ourselves is connected to the way we perceive and inhabit what we think is our personality. A great proportion of our behaviour and our relation to success and failure in both educational and personal situations derive from these two mindsets which we express from a very young age.

  1. To assess success, Dweck advises to watch our language and our use of it. She indicates that having pupils and students say “NOT YET” instead of “I failed” is a better way to show them that despite the difficulties they may have to overcome something now, if they do not give up the time will come when they succeed. But they must keep overcoming the obstacle by tackling it at different angles. The use of “YET” shows that one is on a learning curve and marks the process, not the result. It also tells the pupils and students that they do not learn simply to get grades today, but with their future in mind.

Based on this theory, the 6e pupils showed their creativity and offered this video to the students sitting the BACCLAUREAT in June. You can watch it here:

Many studies have highlighted the many advantages of the GROWTH MINDSET, particularly a better ease at taking personal risks without fearing failure and the search for more ambitious goals; a bigger motivation, less stress and anxiety, better work relations with one’s classmates and higher levels of performance.

There are of course a thousand ways to apply this research to education. This year, the pupils were offered to write LIFE NOTES (as opposed to the Death Note manga), i.e. presentations during which the pupils BRING BACK TO LIFE people who have had an impact on our world. Said people all faced challenges and obstacles to overcome. Through their ability to influence the pupils, these stories and biographies become a learning tool.

These presentations -which develop self-confidence- are also an excellent means to make the pupils practise all aspects of the linguistic system (vocabulary, grammar, phonology) and language-related activities (speaking, reading, writing and listening).

The pupils chose many people from different countries and cultures but who all made the decision to overcome their hurdles. One pupil even chose to speak about his grandfather, who was one of the Righteous Among the Nations for saving Jews’ lives during the Second World War.         

Here are the pupils’ perception:

If I could revive anyone who would it be?  I would revive Tunku Abdul Rahman (the first prime minister of Malaysia) because I could learn two things from him : tolerance and respect.

Another person I would like to revive is Arthur Rimbaud. My presentation on him is on this link
Adam Olmedo-Panal

I wrote about Isaac Newton . I would revive him because I am interested in his discovery and my dad had a simplified version of the book that he made on the Gravitation and told me a bit about it.


In the 6B Class of the LFKL we all did 3 presentations about LIFE NOTES:
A Life Note is a text where we write the names of a famous person or animal that died and explain why we want to revive him or it.

A Life note presentation is when we have to present someone who died and say why we would like to revive him, I did mine on Martin Luther king, I would revive him because he is one of the people that helped this world. He fought against racism saying that is was WRONG.