DEEP DIVE / Class Culture

How can I help my students develop a growth mindset?

< Teaching Channel Guide to Growth Mindset

You can’t just tell your students to have a growth mindset or to just try harder. Instead, you need to teach them about it, model it, and create a classroom that supports it through daily growth mindset practices. Take a look at this page for great resources to get started. And don’t go on this journey alone. Read how Tch Laureate Marion Ivey started her own growth mindset journey with her students, colleagues, and the Teaching Channel Community, and be inspired to share your own journey and ask questions so that we all get better together.


Teach Your Students About Growth Mindset

One of the best ways to start is by explaining what it means to have a growth mindset.

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Three Ways to Encourage a Growth Mindset

Learn how to talk to your students about the science behind it with this set of lessons from The Mindset Kit. You can even have your students take this simple growth mindset assessment.

Go to The Mindset Kit >

Read this blog post to learn how teacher Maricela-Montoy Wilson talks to her students about growth mindset and creates a class culture that supports it.

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Provide Challenging Tasks

Show your students that you believe in their ability to learn by giving them opportunities to persist in challenging tasks that require creative thinking.

After watching the videos below, take a look at this playlist blog to learn about how math teachers use modeling tasks to challenge their learners.

Persisting through challenges
Don't Give Up! Persist, Revise

Watch this video to see how challenging work helps students develop a growth mindset.

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Watch how teacher Madeline Noonan encourages her students to persevere when faced with challenging tasks.

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Let your students know you believe in their ability to grow their intelligence through the way you set expectations. Follow Marion Ivey’s growth mindset journey by reading her blog post on high expectations. Read more...


Encourage Productive Struggle and Celebrate Mistakes

Normalize struggle and teach students that it’s okay to make mistakes so that they care more about learning and less about “looking smart.” Learn how Leah Alcala helps her students to see mistakes as opportunities for learning and growth.

Engage in productive struggle with number talks
Literacy and CCSS: Removing the Stigma from the Struggle

Number talks are a great way to encourage students to consider trying new strategies in math. Watch this video to see one in action.

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In this blog post, Ryan McCarty shares how to remove the stigma from struggle when teaching literacy skills.

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Be Mindful of Language

Make sure the language you use supports your learners in developing a growth mindset.

Praising the Process
Micromessages in the STEM classroom

Watch this video for tips on how to praise the process, not the person.

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Even the smallest of words matter. Watch this video for tips on how to make sure your language empowers and includes all learners.

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Embrace Feedback

Help your students work towards their goals by encouraging them to learn from feedback.

Growing from Peer Feedback
Making Feedback Meaningful

Watch how Marion Ivey helps her students give and receive peer feedback in order to improve their writing.

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Watch how Sean McComb gives his students personalized and customized feedback to suppprt their independent learning.

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Use Growth Mindsets in Content Area Classes

Having a growth mindset is important in all aspects of life, but it can be a struggle when faced with daily challenges. If you want to learn more about how to encourage growth mindsets in classes where challenges are constant, check out these two courses from Learners Edge: 5055: Boosting Social and Emotional Learning Through Sports and Physical Education and 5033: Mindsets and Math: Enjoyment and Achievement for All.

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