What is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is the mindset that through hard work, trial and error (failure), and new experiences, one can growth their intelligence/ talents (with effort you can train your brain to get smarter). It is the belief that anyone can become smarter and more talented if they are persistent, focused, taught about a growth mindset.
What is a Fixed Mindset?
A fixed mindset is a mindset that believes that a person is born with a certain amount of intelligence and it cannot be changed. That some people are just born with more talent and intelligence and no amount of work will change that.
Why mindset matters?
Studies have shown that our intelligence in malleable. Anyone can become smarter; more talented. Every student in our class can learn what they need regardless of their background.
What this might look like?
- I will be teaching students about their how their brain has neurons that make connections whenever they learn something new. Our goal is to make those connections stronger which means working hard, not giving up, and embracing failure.
- I will be focusing my feedback and praise on a student’s hard work, effort, persistence, and willingness to try again and not give up.
- I will have high expectations for all of my students.
- I will give them tasks they will fail at (at first). But we will practice being persistent, having a positive attitude (because we will know that this failure is actually making us smarterJ) and using trial and error.
- I will believe that every student can develop their intelligence and I will help them to believe it too!
Failure is a good thing! And that is the attitude our classroom will strive for. Failure gives us an opportunity to try again, to develop perseverance, and for our brain to strengthen those connections. The more the students embrace this attitude the more they can learn and achieve.
How can I help at home?
- You can praise your student for the hard work and effort they put forth instead of what they know. Try “You worked so hard!” instead of “You are so smart!”
- Let your student failure. Give them tasks they won’t complete easily. Don’t rescue them right away. Let them use trial and error to problem solve. (Some examples could be doing a puzzle, playing a game that involves strategy and problem solving, ask them to build something specific with blocks or make something with playdough, read a “look and find” book where they have to find certain things in the picture.)
- Show your student that you make mistakes but can figure out how to fix them or learn from them.
- Model flexibility and a positive attitude.