How to Harness the Power of Growth Mindset (Part 1 of 2)

The New Year is the perfect time to adopt a new mindset toward learning.

We’re excited to bring you a new mini-series focused on growth mindset, a revolutionary approach to learning. In this two-part series, we will look at the nuances of the growth mindset theory and offer simple tips for cultivating it in your classroom. In Part 1, we examine the meaning of growth mindset and how it can benefit those who practice it.

What is Growth Mindset?

It’s the idea that you can train your brain to get smarter. Developed by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, growth mindset is the understanding that intelligence and abilities can be developed over time. Unlike a fixed mindset, it views brains and talent not as fixed traits, but as a foundation for growth. Adopting growth mindset in the classroom has been shown to boost confidence and foster a love of learning in students.

Growth v. Fixed Mindset

As Carol Dweck puts it, “Even geniuses work hard.” Those with a fixed mindset tend to think otherwise, focusing more on “natural ability” than hard work and perseverance. People with a fixed mindset believe intelligence and talent are fixed traits. They believe talent alone leads to success, with minimal effort required. Those with a fixed mindset tend to feel dumb when presented with a challenge, believing the ability to solve it should come naturally. In contrast, growth mindset tells us we have the potential to develop our intelligence over time, and struggle leads to success, no matter your IQ.

How Growth Mindset Benefits Classrooms

Teaching a growth mindset in the classroom instills a love of learning in students that can lead to great accomplishment. Dweck says, “Students with a growth mindset are more likely to respond to initial obstacles by remaining involved, trying new strategies, and using all the resources at their disposal for learning.”

Check back next week when we’ll talk about specific strategies and resources for cultivating the growth mindset in your classroom.


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