Growth Mindset

It’s been exciting to see the direct connections between the thoughts in our heads and the feelings in our hearts.

Students took the mindset quiz created by Carol Dweck, Stanford University Professor of Psychology and author of the book Mindset to determine their beliefs about intelligence. Did they focus on learning from mistakes and welcoming challenges, hallmarks of a growth mindset, or were they trapped in the fixed mindset dichotomy of being either smart or dumb?

I shared with students the example of how I decided that I would acknowledge my negative self-talk around technology. Instead of shying away from it, I see every day as an opportunity to learn and improve my presentation skills, particularly with Google Slides. When I had failed to input a student’s grades in the new grading program, I said to him, “Don’t get mad at me. I’m still learning, and I will improve.” I wasn’t scared like I used to be about messing up and losing students’ papers. I was showing him my vulnerability and my growth mindset. Then he said, “Me too, Ms. Bean.” He had been sent out of my classroom for an inappropriate sexual comment about “swallowing.”

We can use problem-solving strategies such as:

  • asking the teacher for help or to slow down or repeat what she or he said,
  • showing up for tutoring,
  • seeking out friends with growth mindsets,
  • watching videos on YouTube

There are so many ways to grow our brain and our self-esteem and self-confidence. Being aware of the negative self-talk, the put-downs, the bully in our heads, is the critical first step to making a change.


Carol Dweck’s Ted Talk “The power of believing that you can improve”

Class Dojo Big Ideas for the Classroom Growth Mindset Episode 1

Khan Academy: Growth Mindset