Table of Contents

Unit 2: Overarching Habits of Mind (MP1 and MP6)

2.1.3 Mindsets

Although research on learning tends to focus on instructional strategies related to subject matter, students’ mindsets have a significant effect on their success or failure in school. On one end of the spectrum are fixed mindsets — the belief that intelligence and talents are just givens, that nothing can change that. Students may believe that no matter how hard they try, they will fail. On the other end of the spectrum are growth mindsets — the belief that intelligence and talents can be developed through dedication and effort.

When students and educators have a growth mindset, they understand that intelligence can be developed. Students focus on improvement instead of worrying about how smart they are. They work hard to learn more and get smarter. Based on research by Stanford University’s Carol Dweck, Lisa Blackwell, and their colleagues, students who learn the growth mindset show greater motivation in school.

Time to Reflect

How can teachers make their growth mindset visible to their students so that the students can begin on their journey to having a growth mindset?

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