5 Ways to Teach a Growth Mindset

It’s possible to consciously change your mindset from fixed to one of continual growth. Once you have seen someone embrace a growth mindset, you can see its value. People will begin to take on challenges beyond what they might have otherwise. They push themselves with language like, “What can we learn from our mistake?” and “What are we missing?”

The growth mindset movement began with Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. She found that a person who maintains a “growth mindset” sees failure as a chance to grow. Her research began after she encountered a Chicago high school that used the term, “Not Yet” if a student didn’t meet the expectations for the course. The absence of a failing grade allows the student to see that success is still a possibility.

Here are some key concepts to discuss with our students:

Students who have a fixed mindset desire to see themselves as smart in every situation and look to prove themselves. While students with a growth mindset stretch themselves, looking to meet challenges head on.

Tips for the classroom…
Reward the process, not the outcome, thus encouraging students to work outside of their comfort zone. If failure is seen as only negative, they will quit attempting difficult tasks.

A person with a fixed mindset sees a setback as evidence of failure or lack of intelligence, while a person with a growth mindset embraces the bumps and hurdles along the way. They resist the temptation to give up, instead thriving on the opportunity to grow.

Tips for the classroom…
~ Embrace the power of “Yet” in your classroom by encouraging students to look for “Plan B” when they experience a setback.
~ Allow students additional time and support on challenging tasks. When two minds come together, the problem becomes easier to solve.

Work Ethic
A task that calls for an extra amount of effort causes a student with a fixed mindset to question whether or not it is worth the effort. For students with growth mindsets, tasks requiring a lot of effort are seen as doable when broken down into smaller chunks.

Tips for the classroom…
Recognize the attempts that students make as progress toward a goal with reinforcing language like, “How can you use what you have so far to move on to the next step.”

Constructive Criticism
A person with a fixed mindset ignores constructive criticism. Instead, they rely on what they think they already know. A growth mindset is open to constructive criticism, knowing that it gives an opportunity for improvement.

Tips for the classroom…
Help your students to understand how to support each other. Ask questions such as, “Have you thought about…?”

Success of Peers
The success of peers is threatening to people with fixed mindsets. They believe the success of others means that they have failed. If a person has a growth mindset, they look for inspiration in others’ success and see it as a chance to learn from them.

Tips for the classroom…
Model celebrating the success of others, and positively reinforce it when you see students recognizing each other.

When students understand that abilities are developed, they more readily adopt learning-oriented behaviors that enable them to achieve their goals. As educators, we can teach them that consciously changing ones mindset is not only possible but extremely beneficial. The idea of a growth mindset needs to be consistently revisited. My father always told me, “We do the best we can and move forward.” I am thankful that he instilled that in me. It was his way of helping me understand that a failure was not the end. That attitude and perspective need to be part of everything we do in our schools.

Check out my growth mindset subway art statements HERE. These are designed for classroom doors or bulletin boards with headings and titles in various sizes. Each statement page contains a fixed mindset and a correlating growth mindset. I like to connect the fixed mindset to the growth mindset using the headings & large arrows. I also include a printable handout that uses examples to explain the difference between growth and fixed mindsets. Another way to use this resource is to post the “growth mindset” statements as pictured above.

Moving to a growth mindset will encourage your students to stretch themselves, appreciate the success of others, thive on opportunites to learn more, and manage that process. Teaching these concepts is one of the best ways we can set our students up for success!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.