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Instill a Growth Mindset


Social-Emotional Learning/Growth Mindset Universal Design for Learning All Ages Strategy


Flexible Thinking Self-regulation

Instill a Growth Mindset

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
— Thomas A. Edison

While self-belief, or growth mindset, cannot replace aptitude or overcome all weaknesses, it is true that all students will perform significantly better over time if they believe that hard work will lead to better results.

How To Apply It!

  1. Praise the student's effort, not the outcome. Students will learn over time that if they keep working hard, the positive outcomes will follow, even if they are not immediate.
  2. Set mini-goals with students, so that they can work incrementally towards achievable outcomes. They will feel the rewards of accomplishment and be motivated to keep going.
  3. Demonstrate positive thinking. Fight the urge to have react negatively to mistakes, since children tend to model the behavior they see more than what they hear.
  4. Encourage laughter whenever appropriate, including the ability to laugh at your own mistakes. Laughter breeds positive feelings. The ability to take one's own mistakes in stride is key to recovering more easily, learning from mistakes, and moving forward.
  5. Help students view mistakes as a stepping stone to future success. Every successful person has stories of the failures they had to overcome along the way.
  6. Emphasize the importance of how students respond to failures that matters most.
  7. Have students play the Mindprint game to remind them that the most successful leaders had to overcome enormous obstacles and mistakes.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Research shows that students who believe they can develop and increase their knowledge and capabilities outperform over time. Further supported by research about the malleability of the brain, it is critical that students are motivated to exert the effort and take ownership of their learning. Read the research of Carol Dweck and others on growth mindset, grit and other ways to motivate students.