Growth Mindset

Here are some points to remember when you teach.

I just read this article about how to instill a growth mindset in students. Source: Prodigy 

The ten points are nicely explained in the article and I am enclosing them here.  For a more detailed explanation read the whole article. You can also look at the infographic I’m sharing below.

1. Avoid Praising Intelligence and Sheer Effort

You risk discouraging growth by primarily praising intelligence and sheer effort, instead of acknowledging the importance of planning and trying new approaches.

Complimenting intelligence can reinforce it as a fixed trait, says Dweck.

2. Use Diverse Teaching Strategies

Exposing students to different instructional methods and strategies will help build a repertoire of learning skills to handle diverse challenges, according to Dweck.

3. Introduce Simple Gamification Elements

Certain aspects of gamification — the practice of applying video game elements to your class — can highlight student progress instead of emphasizing mistakes.

4. Teach the Values of Challenges

Explaining the inherent benefits of overcoming obstacles can help students develop a growth mindset, according to Dweck.

She specifically recommends teaching about the effect on the brain when people push through their comfort zones to grasp difficult concepts. The neurons form stronger connections, leading to improved intelligence over time. Therefore, effort and difficulty are paths, not roadblocks, to becoming smarter.

5. Encourage Students to Expand their Answers

Asking students to elaborate on their thoughts during discussion reveals what they do and don’t understand, encouraging them to process content at a deeper level as they reflect on their responses.

6. Explain the Purposes of Abstract Skills and Concepts

Teaching a unit or subject filled with abstract skills and concepts? Instilling a growth mindset in students may take more work.

Should you feel this is the case with a given skill or topic, explore and explain:

  • Why it is significant
  • What its uses are outside of class
  • How it will help students in the future

7. Allow Time for Goal-Based Journaling

As an exit ticket, ask students to:

  • Set learning goals for themselves
  • Discuss progression toward meeting these goals

No matter the goal, students should follow the SMART method, ensuring it isn’t too lofty. The goal should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable and Agreed-Upon
  • Realistic
  • Time-Based

8. Say “Yet” More Often

The word “yet” can change disparaging sentences into positive ones, promoting growth, according to Dweck.

You’ll demonstrate that mastering skills and understanding concepts is always possible — it’s just dependent on time, persistence and trying different learning techniques.

9. Help Students Change their Language

As you shift your phrasing, you can help students change their language to push their mindsets from growth-averse to development-oriented.

10. Use Success Folders

Through the semester or year, students can struggle to remember their progress and achievements. Success folders address this problem, providing first-hand evidence of growth.


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