What is growth mindset?

Growth mindset is an idea, put forward by Carol Dweck (a psychologist from Stanford University).  After a vast amount of research, she found that learners either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.


First things first.  What is a mindset?

A mindset is simply a way in which our brain thinks.


What is a fixed mindset?

People with a fixed mindset believe that the qualities that they have, i.e. intelligence, are fixed – they cannot be changed. They use their traits but they do not try to develop them.  In addition, they believe that talent can bring success without putting in any effort.


What is a growth mindset?

People with a growth mindset believe that the qualities they have can be improved through hard work.  They have a love of learning and increasingly try to develop their skills.


Can a growth mindset be taught?

Dweck’s research certainly suggests so.  She found that people with a fixed mindset can change their views once educated – they can learn new ways and means of developing their skills.  It was also found that teaching a growth mindset increased productivity and enhanced relationships.


What does this mean for teachers?

I feel that growth mindset is very significant for both students and teachers.  Teachers need to be confident that they can continually grow the skills they have.  It is their responsibility, but also leaders must put into place measures to ensure that this happens.  In addition, students must be given both the confidence and knowledge to develop.

We have all had those children in our class that say, “I’m no good at this.  I can’t do it”.

Maybe if we taught them growth mindset, it would inspire them in their future learning. Here are some resources I made for staff training that I recently carried out.  Included is a free poster detailing some useful ways to teach a growth mindset.


Should it be taught?  What are your thoughts on this topic?  Let me know by commenting below.

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