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Use the Arts and Sports to Instill Growth Mindset


^Music, Art and Makerspaces Social-Emotional Learning All Ages Strategy


Flexible Thinking Self-regulation

Use the Arts and Sports to Instill Growth Mindset

If your student needs support with self-awareness, and is uncomfortable making mistakes and taking feedback

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Engagement in the arts and athletics will support students' development of growth mindset.
  2. Teacher Takeaways: a) Students tend to be more open and accepting in arts and sports of varying levels of starting ability and the need to learn and practice to master a new skill than they are in a traditional academic classroom. b) Use art and sports activities to consistently model and reinforce growth mindset. As students attempt a new skill area, emphasize how hard work and practice will be key to seeing progress. Use the same positive language of a growth mindset you would use in the classroom.
  3. Model and Practice: a) Have students reflect on their progress by writing about the process, discussing it in pairs, or having a class or team discussion. Discuss any initial hesitations they might have had with a skill or activity, and how those feelings changed as they practiced and progressed. b) If possible, meet with students individually to discuss their reflections. This is an opportunity to help students build awareness of how a growth mindset helps their progress. Help them understand how they can apply that same mindset to academic settings. If students showed a fixed mindset, discuss how they might approach tasks differently.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Growth mindset has been shown to be a key predictor of achievement in all settings. To help students develop an overall growth mindset, it is best for all adult role models to use the same positive language and reinforce growth mindset in all settings. Reinforcing growth mindset in sports and the arts can be a more comfortable environment to demonstrate how mindset can have a significant impact on progress, as students might be more willing to accept that they start with varying strengths and needs. In addition, their progress or achievements are often more immediately visible. Adults can use these positive experiences to explain how mindset translates to academic and other life experiences.

Best-suited for students with weaker: Metacognition, Self-Regulation (Source: Digital Promise Learner Variability Project)