Growth Mindset (Updated)

A williness to take risks (and fail) is an important characteristic of creativity and innovation

Photo of Jessica Lura
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HMW we encourage teachers to develop a growth mindset? 


Check out Carol Dweck's TED talk on how to solve problems (link)--it's a great starting point to talk about growth mindset. The power of believing that you can change and grow seems to me an integral part of creating a new culture.  Many teachers I know believe that they are not creative or innovative. 

For more information on her research on fixed vs growth mindset check out this link

Dweck writes, "When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world — the world of fixed traits — success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other — the world of changing qualities — it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.

In one world, failure is about having a setback. Getting a bad grade. Losing a tournament. Getting fired. Getting rejected. It means you’re not smart or talented. In the other world, failure is about not growing. Not reaching for the things you value. It means you’re not fulfilling your potential.

In one world, effort is a bad thing. It, like failure, means you’re not smart or talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need effort. In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented."


A great link to "Developing a Growth Mindset" (Keith Heggart via Edutopia) contributed by Jeremy D.

The article comments on the use of modeling to develop a growth mindset ("Gerstein has run a number of professional development courses that seek to instruct teachers in how to model a growth mindset amongst students and one of her key principles is encouraging teachers to see themselves as learners, and, just like students are all capable of learning and improving, so too are teachers (Gerstein 2014)."

and well as creating space for new ideas, building in time for self-reflection, and focusing on formative feedback rather than summative 


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Photo of Aaron

Jessica - great article! It's also been my experience that teachers don't see themselves as creative, and often don't have a growth mindset. There are tremendous structural elements that disempower teachers and push toward this outcome.

I've heard that the National Board Certification process is really rigorous, involves seeking (and then implementing) feedback from numerous sources (self, students, colleagues, supervisors), and propels teachers forward in their professional skills.

HMW create more systems like NBC that would give every teacher a structure for rich feedback, rigorous self-assessment, and a growth plan/mindset?

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