Part 1 of our series introduced the revolutionary concept of growth mindset. This week, we explore strategies teachers use to cultivate a growth mindset in their classroom. Growth mindset is all about empowering students to commit to their own unique learning process and persevere through challenges. This mindset rejects the idea that everyone is destined to a certain level of achievement as a result of natural ability. Students who adopt this mindset are more confident, active learners.
Here are three ways teachers can foster a growth mindset atmosphere in the classroom:
- Introduce the concept
Explain Carol Dweck’s growth mindset theory and how it benefits those who practice it. Some teachers seek to abolish their students’ fixed mindset misconceptions by researching the path to stardom for highly successful people like Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, or Taylor Swift. Students realize that, behind the scenes, every superstar works incredibly hard for their accomplishments.
We found several helpful resources online including a “Grow Your Intelligence”
- Carol Dweck’s growth mindset
- , and several related
- to read aloud in class.
- Practice what you preach
Model the growth mindset attitude for your students. Share your own stories of success and failure, and describe how you’ve overcome obstacles in the past. Sharing your struggles can help students become more forgiving of their own mistakes. These anecdotes can serve as inspiration to students with both personal and academic struggles.
- Focus on the journey
Teachers with a growth mindset welcome mistakes, praising dedication above all else. Their students know their grades are merely indicators of progress and are not representative of aptitude for success. Dweck says, “Allow students to work through the failure process, without grades being viewed as a negative consequence, but as a means of growth through failure.” Focusing more on the process of learning rather than the end goal encourages students to discover the joy in learning.