Saturday, August 8, 2015

Growth Mindset Series: Part 1 {What is it? Why is it important?}

There's been a lot of talk on Twitter and Instagram lately about mindset and how we can build a growth mindset in our students and school community. Since I've spent a lot of time recently researching and reading about the subject, I want to share some of those things with you! 
One of my primary goals for the school year is to work to build a growth mindset in all of my students. That might seem like a lofty goal, since many of my students struggle to believe they can succeed, since they've spent their whole academic careers struggling and working below grade level. 

First of all, what is growth mindset? 
Our mindset (and our students') really determines how we approach our jobs, relationships, and other aspects of our lives. People can fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. You can take a quiz to find out your mindset here. If you have older students, you could also have them take the quiz to find out their mindsets. 

Here are some characteristics of each mindset. When reading through these, think about where your students, especially those that are struggling, fall. 
In our classrooms, we really want students to have a growth mindset, but, honestly, a lot of our students will probably have fixed mindsets. Sometimes, that can make it hard for us to teach and help students grow to their potential. 
Helping our students have a growth mindset is so, so important. One important thing to remember is that it's hard to teach students to have a growth mindset if you don't have one yourself! Evaluate your mindset, and if you don't have a growth mindset, reflect on how you're mindset is fixed and think of possible ways to change that! 

If you want to know more about growth mindset, the hashtag #growthmindset on Twitter is pretty popular and helpful!  Also, this TedTalk by Carol Dweck, the pioneer researcher on growth mindset, is very informative!

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