What you are about to read is my original plan to implement a growth mindset in my classroom. I wrote this after reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success in one of my first master’s classes. I have reviewed the original plan and will be adding some updates to the end:
The growth mindset is something I am still learning but I want to start incorporating it into my school with my students and colleagues. This is a lofty goal which will require me to have a consistent growth mindset for myself. This is the perfect time to start working on this. It is fresh on my mind so I can bring examples to my students and my colleagues as well as give them access to new growth mindset research and examples as I find them.
I plan to begin by helping students and colleagues find their fixed mindset voice. I can give examples of how I found it for myself and give them examples from the research to help them move into step two of making a conscious choice to look at the fixed mindset objectively and make a choice to change it. I expect resistance to this in the beginning, but as more of my students and colleagues begin to see the research on the growth mindset, I think they will become more open to it.
Once my students and colleagues begin to understand their own fixed mindsets and how to start making a choice to change, we can move into changing those negative fixed mindset thoughts into growth minded ones. This is where being open about my own experience with the fixed and growth mindsets will be critical. Speaking from experience, hearing someone else talk about their own experiences with fixed and growth mindsets has had such a tremendous impact on me. I want to have open dialogues with students and colleagues about my own struggles and how I overcame them, and I hope as we move forward they will share with me their struggles and the "ah ha" moments they experience.
Finally, as we move into the fourth step of taking action, I plan to do some goal setting for myself and to help my students and colleagues set goals for themselves. One part of my plan is to have goal setting workshops with both students and colleagues as we go through this process together. The power of yet will be part of my plan throughout this process. It is the fastest way to reframe those fixed mindset thoughts, and if I use it with students and colleagues I think it will catch on quickly and could be a game changer for many of them as they work towards a growth mindset. The key to this plan lies with me and my own mindset. I will not only need to talk the talk; I will have to continue to walk the walk if I want this to be successful. I know I will run into complications along the way, but I am up for a challenge and the positive impact the growth mindset will have on both my students and colleagues will be worth the effort.
Growing With My Plan
After revisiting my plan, there are a few things that I wanted to update. First, as I have progressed through my master’s courses in the DLL program, I have had more opportunities to apply the growth mindset to my own learning. I also have a better understanding of the ability to overcome a fixed mindset. I do still agree that the change from a fixed to growth mindset needs to begin with me, however, as I move forward, I also want to bring attention to having a growth mindset when accepting criticism and feedback. Specifically, I would like to model for my students what a growth mindset looks like with feedback and demonstrate how a growth mindset can help create a shift in thinking about criticism and feedback as negatives. I also plan to scaffold for students how they can create positive change by reframing the criticism and feedback that they receive into learning moments; I plan to create a list of questions that each student can use with feedback to help them move from a fixed mindset to a positive one.
I also want my students to understand grit and how having focus on long term goals and persevering to achieve those goals works with a growth mindset. It is not enough for students to just to understand the power of yet, they must also be able to create a plan to persevere and succeed after they have failed at something. The addition of grit will help me teach students that even though it’s ok not to know how to do something yet, but they must have tools to create a plan of action to get them to success. I can model grit for my learners by not only sharing my struggles with them, but also adding how I plan to overcome those struggles and giving examples where a goal I had took a long time to complete. I want to get the point across to students that even though they may fail in the short term on a goal, they can overcome this failure to reach their goals in the future.
Dweck, C. (2020, December 2). Carol Dweck Revisits the 'Growth Mindset' (Opinion). Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/leadership/opinion-carol-dweck-revisits-the-growth-mindset/2015/09.