Impact of Mindset
Stanford researcher Dr. Carol Dweck has made it her life’s work to learn about what motivates and drives people to learn, regardless of their natural abilities or talents. In her book Mindset: The new psychology of success, she explains that the growth mindset is the belief that everyone can learn, change and grow if they make efforts, seek help and develop strategies (Dweck, 2017). Mindset compares both fixed and growth mindsets on a journey through the triumphant successes and emotional failures of students, athletes, business leaders and families. Mindset can determine how we will respond to challenges, obstacles and criticism in every area or our lives. (Holmes, 2017)
Dweck’s research, book and TED talks have created a growth mindset movement that has had a profound impact on the world of education. This is evident by the abundance of available resources for teachers and parents on the topic. This plan and slideshow will highlight some of these resources for helping students of all levels succeed.
Mindsets affect the way students view themselves, their abilities and drive to overcome failure or difficulty. Having a fixed mindset can limit students in their willingness to stretch beyond their comfort level to learn and achieve. Conversely, having a growth mindset can lead students to bravely try new skills (Lenz, 2015).
Power of Yet
If students are aware of their mindset, and about how they are thinking and feeling when they come to a topic or task that is challenging, they can stop and make a choice. When students have been exposed to the power of yet, the notion that it is acceptable not to get something right the first time, they can approach that task with positivity and grit (Lisa, 2020). Mindset and the willingness to not get something right the first time, and to be coachable or to accept feedback is not static (Brock & Hundley, 2020). It is a practice that must be developed over time.
4 Step Process to Change your Mindset
Scott Jeffrey shared Carol Dweck’s four step process to changing from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. This process involves being aware of your thoughts, taking a pause from the emotion of the difficulty and making a conscious decision to change the thought pattern. The final, most important step is to take the growth mindset action. In order to effectively instill this process into students, teachers, parents and leaders must first be able to internalize and act on the process. (Ferlazzo, 2015)
• Step 1 Learn to hear your fixed mindset “voice”
• Step 2 Recognize that you have a choice
• Step 3 Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice
• Step 4 Take the growth mindset action
Essentially, a culture supportive of allowing students to try and fail, then try and succeed is what will allow students to flourish. Students are going to learn from everyone that they encounter. That learning can be positive, neutral or negative. If everyone in the school community is focused on positively supporting students while challenging them and praising the process, then students will succeed.
- Adults in all roles should understand the impact of having and sharing a growth mindset. (Ackerman, 2020) This can be established by providing training and support. Mindsetkit is an excellent free resource for self-paced training for all roles.
- Students should be introduced to these concepts with formal lessons Formal lessons can come from resources such as:
- Class Dojo
- Khan Academy
- Learner Lab
- Other materials created by teachers
- Students should be reminded frequently (at LEAST weekly) to consider their mindset. This can take the form of:
- Encouragement and thoughtful praise & coaching
- SMART Goal setting
- Visual reminders such as classroom posters
Personal Impact and Approach
Learning about growth mindset has already impacted my approach to the Digital Learning and Leading program. In the few weeks that I have been enrolled at Lamar University, I have worked harder than I would have imagined that I was capable of. The bar is set high. However, because this is something I want very much to achieve, the effort seems reasonable. Also, I am changing perspective on some things that I previously believed. I have a broader view of my capabilities and strengths and how they can be utilized for success. I do not always have a growth mindset, but do have the skill of reframing my thinking to take a new approach. My aim is to share that skill and others with the people I encounter for positive learning, whether they are classmates, colleagues, students or others.
Ackerman, C. E. (2020, October 12). Growth Mindset vs. Fixed + Key Takeaways From Dweck’s Book. PositivePsychology.com. https://positivepsychology.com/growth-mindset-vs-fixed-mindset/.
Brock, A., & Hundley, H. (2020). The growth mindset classroom-ready resource book: a teacher’s toolkit for encouraging grit and resilience in all students. Ulysses Press.
Brown Brené. (2019). Dare to lead: brave work, tough conversations, whole hearts. Random House Large Print Publishing.
Carlson, M. (2017, December). The Magic Word That Every Parent Needs to Embrace [web log]. https://afineparent.com/positive-parenting-faq/the-power-of-yet.html.
ClassDojo, M. (2020). Class Dojo Big Ideas – Videos and activities to help students learn the power of positive thinking. Classdojo Big Ideas. https://ideas.classdojo.com/.
ClickView. (2019). Developing a Growth Mindset. https://youtu.be/rUJkbWNnNy4.
Dweck, C. (2016). Mindset: the new psychology of success. Random House.
Dweck, C. (2017). Decades of Scientific Research that Started a Growth Mindset Revolution. The Growth Mindset – What is Growth Mindset – Mindset Works. https://www.mindsetworks.com/Science/Default.
Dweck, C. (2020, April 2). Carol Dweck Revisits the ‘Growth Mindset’. Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/09/23/carol-dweck-revisits-the-growth-mindset.html.
Eidens, A. (2020). All. Big Life Journal. https://biglifejournal.com/collections/all.
Ferlazzo, L. (2020, July 6). Search Results for: mindset. Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… https://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/?s=mindset.
Garcia, E. (2017, April 20). Power of Growth Mindset Plan. Learning With Garcia. http://learningwithgarcia.weebly.com/blog/power-of-growth-mindset-plan.
Goldstein, M. (2020, April 9). The Mindset Scholars Network. Mindset Scholars Network. https://mindsetscholarsnetwork.org/.
Holmes, N. (2017). The Impact of a Growth Mindset. Science Impact. https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/Impact.
Jeffrey, S. (2020, June 23). Change Your Fixed Mindset into a Growth Mindset [Complete Guide]. Scott Jeffrey. https://scottjeffrey.com/change-your-fixed-mindset/.
Kardamis, L. (2020). Teach 4 the Heart. https://teach4theheart.com/.
Khan Academy. (2018). LearnStorm: Growth Mindset: How to Write a Smart Goal. YouTube. https://youtu.be/U4IU-y9-J8Q.
Lenz, B. (2015, April 8). Failure Is Essential to Learning. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/failure-essential-learning-bob-lenz.
Lisa. (2020, May 17). ‘The Power of Yet’. Grow Kids Minds. https://growkidsminds.com/gkm011-the-power-of-yet/.
Lubow, J. (2016, January 6). 5 Ways Instructional Leaders Can Foster Growth Mindset in Teachers. https://blog.teachboost.com/5-ways-instructional-leaders-can-support-growth-mindset-in-teachers.
Nielsen, L. B. (2020). Group of People Playing Soccer. Unsplash. https://unsplash.com/photos/zXn5qinCDKg?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditShareLink.
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