Top 10 Ways To Encourage Growth Mindset In Your Students

If you are working in education, you are probably familiar with the concept of a “growth mindset.” Like many things in the world of education, “growth mindset” has become a popular buzzword, filling professional development workshops and the twitter feeds of teachers across the globe. 

Let’s start at the beginning! What is growth mindset? Made popular by psychologist Carol Dweck, growth mindset is the concept that a person’s characteristics and abilities are capable of change, growth and development, rather than fixed characteristics that cannot be changed. 

For example, if a child does poorly on a math test, they may say to themselves, “I’m bad at math.” A child with a fixed mindset would believe that they are bad at math and always will be. This is a characteristic about themselves that cannot be changed. 

However, if that same child had a growth mindset, after doing poorly on a math test, they may still say “I’m bad at math” BUT they would also say “I can improve!” These students believe that their abilities are not set in stone, but able to be changed. 

This has profound effects on education. As I’m sure you have experienced, any child can learn, but it is very difficult to teach a child who does not believe they are capable of learning. Alternatively, children that believe that they can learn and grow, have limitless potential!

The important role that growth mindset plays in the education of our students is undeniable, but many teachers find that actually implementing strategies to cultivate a growth mindset in their students can be a different story. 

Perhaps you are one of those teachers who believes in the importance of developing a solid growth mindset, but aren’t quite sure how to guide your students through that process. Here are 10 amazing strategies to develop growth mindset in your classroom today!

Read stories with characters who overcome challenges. 

  • Who doesn’t love a good read-aloud? Thoughtfully choosing books to share with your students gives the opportunity to teach and discuss how the characters in the story are utilizing a growth mindset.

Provide visual reminders.

  • When choosing the decorations for your classroom, selecting posters with growth mindset messages is an excellent way to consistently remind and encourage your students to believe that they are capable of growth.

Offer help, offer often.

  • Part of growing and learning is asking for help. Although it would be nice if every student asked for help whenever they needed it, the reality is many students are intimidated to ask for help. Teachers can reduce a student’s fear of seeking assistance by consistently offering to help and making this assistance as accessible as possible.

Use effective praise.

  • Instead of praising students for fixed qualities, such as “you are so smart,” offer praise when students use important learning strategies, such as “You are asking excellent questions!” or “I love the way you took time to revise your work!”

Set small goals.

  • When the end-goal is too large, students are likely to feel overwhelmed and may even give up. Instead, break down tasks into smaller goals, allowing students to experience success throughout the learning process, instead of just at the end.

Teach students about the power of YET.

  • Take time in your instruction and class discussion to teach students this important lesson: Just because they haven’t accomplished something YET, doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen in the future.

Use many different teaching strategies.

  • As we all know, every child learns differently. When you use many different teaching strategies, you will reach more students and provide them with more opportunities to feel successful in the classroom. When a child feels successful, you are solidifying the truth that learning is possible for everyone.

Teach students to track their own achievement.

  • Whether you use a data chart, a consistent rubric, or a success folder or portfolio, it is important to implement a system in which students can see and keep track of their own growth and progress. In moments of frustration or discouragement, being able to look at their own data and see how far they’ve come, can be the perfect motivation to keep going.

Incorporate cooperative learning opportunities.

  • Research has shown that students are more likely to be motivated to work and ready to learn when they are working in groups. Giving students the chance to work together is not only going to make the learning process more fun, it will leave your students feeling more successful.  Try this Growth Mindset Escape Room or a Growth Mindset Collaborative Poster!

     

Model a positive “growth-centered” attitude.

  • Children become what they observe. If you as a teacher consistently model a positive attitude about learning and willingness to try, make mistakes, and keep trying, your students will begin to exhibit those same qualities and attitudes.

    Growth-centered teachers produce growth-centered students. It’s always a good time to start teaching your students to believe in their potential and to face challenges head on. Take some time to try out a few of these strategies for developing a growth mindset in your classroom! 

Resources: 

https://www.edglossary.org/growth-mindset/

https://www.lexialearning.com/blog/6-tips-help-students-develop-growth-mindset-classroom

https://www.teachthought.com/learning/cultivate-growth-mindset-classroom/

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