Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is an essential quality that has become increasingly important in the modern world. It refers to the belief that one's abilities and intelligence can be developed through hard work, dedication, and persistence, rather than being fixed traits that cannot be changed. Research has shown that individuals who embrace a growth mindset are more likely to achieve success in their personal and professional lives than those with a fixed mindset (Dweck, 2017). This is because people with a growth mindset are more likely to take on challenges and see them as opportunities for growth, rather than avoiding them due to fear of failure. They also tend to be more resilient and bounce back quickly from setbacks, using them as opportunities to learn and improve.

Incorporating a growth mindset in the classroom is a powerful way to help students develop resilience, perseverance, and a love of learning.  Encourage your students to add the word "yet" to the end of sentences such as "I can't do this." This helps students recognize that just because they haven't learned something yet, doesn't mean they won't ever learn it.  Emphasizing the importance of effort over innate ability is another way to incorporate a growth mindset in the classroom, along with providing constructive feedback.  When giving feedback, focus should be on specific strategies and skills that students can use to improve. Encouraging students to see their mistakes as opportunities for growth, rather than seeing them as failure.   In addition, as educators, we should always praise students for working hard and trying their best, rather than for being naturally smart or talented. 

Another way to incorporate a growth mind set is to teach goal-setting.  Goal setting is essential to a growth mindset because it helps individuals develop a sense of purpose and direction, and provides motivation and focus for their efforts. According to Bandura (1991), goal setting is an important component of self-regulated learning, as it helps individuals monitor their progress and adjust their efforts accordingly. When individuals set specific, challenging goals for themselves, they are more likely to engage in effortful learning behaviors and persist in the face of challenges, which are key components of a growth mindset.  Research has also shown that goal setting can be effective when paired with a growth mindset. According to Blackwell and colleagues (2007), students who were taught a growth mindset and provided with goal setting strategies showed greater improvement in their grades than those who were taught only goal setting or were provided with no intervention.   For example, in my sophomore level English classes, I teach my students how to write SMART goals and throughout the year, they are reflecting on their SMART goals and updating them to make sure they are staying on track to achieve those goals.  Students make posters to hang in the classroom, to remind them on a daily basis of their SMART goals.

Most importantly, modeling a growth mindset is essential.  I model a growth mindset by sharing stories of my own failures and successes and emphasizing the importance of reflection.  Research has shown that when teachers model a growth mindset, they demonstrate that learning is a continuous process that involves both successes and failures (Dweck et al., 2015). This creates a safe and supportive learning environment where students feel comfortable taking risks and making mistakes. By modeling a growth mindset, teachers can also help students develop a sense of resilience and persistence in the face of challenges, which can be particularly important for students who may have experienced past failures or setbacks (Dweck et al., 2015).




Bandura, A. (1991). Social cognitive theory of self-regulation. Organizational Behavior and 

Human Decision Processes, 50(2), 248-287.

Blackwell, L. S., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Dweck, C. S. (2007). Implicit theories of intelligence 

predict achievement across an adolescent transition: A longitudinal study and an 

intervention. Child Development, 78(1).

Dweck, C. S., Yeager, D. S., & Walton, G. M. (2015). "Growth mindset" science. Educational 


Dweck, C. (2017). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Random House.


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