Teaching the “Growth Mindset”

Today in a professional development seminar, I learned about the importance of fostering within students a “growth mindset.” Carol Dweck, who bases her findings on decades of research as a Stanford University psychologist, writes in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Successhow a growth mindset creates resilience and a true love of learning.

Essentially, I want to instill in students, myself, and my children that we can grow and change. Failure is about growth. Success is also about growth. Everything we do is about growth, not just achievement.

Instead of feeding into their hypersensitivity about grades and achievement, a teacher who models a growth mindset invites students to consider, obviously, their growth. Learning, curiosity, and enjoyment of the subject matter motivate differently and more sustainably in these kinds of environments.

I find myself excited about teaching and parenting all over again. Everything is about how we’re growing, what we’re learning, and how we’re getting better at loving well. Instead of just documenting achievements and measuring ourselves by certain fixed standards, we remember that we’re growing.

The growth mindset ushers in grace, motivation, and ultimately, hope.

We’re growing here.

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  1. Thanks for the final push to move this book to the top of my reading list. It has recently been mentioned to me by two friends who live in another city, and the principal of my daughter's school. My friends and I have laughed that we wish we knew the word for that experience- when something previously unheard of to you is mentioned by unrelated sources in quick succession. Providence?