• Ready, Set, Go | May 2017

Students with a growth mindset often achieve more than those who think success simply comes to those born with talent. Individuals who embrace a growth mindset realize they can reach goals by working hard, asking for help, and trying different strategies to accomplish tasks. When students believe achievement is the result of their effort, not their luck, they "worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning" (Dweck, 2016). 
Be READY tto learn how a growth mindset can be nurtured in the learning process.
» A growth mindset is the belief that one can develop intelligence over time rather than considering it a certain inborn trait (Dweck, 2010). Teachers who provide encouragement and praise the learning process, not the child's ability, create students who see challenges as exciting and fun. The word "yet" has power in such an environment to acknowledge that students may not be good at something "yet," but they have the strategies and resources to persist.

SET the stage for developing a growth mindset by examining your own mindset as well as providing activities and strategies to develop your students' mindset. Research supports the idea that an educator's mindset may influence the way s/he responds to students, and the feedback that teachers give their students can either encourage a child to choose a challenge and increase achievement or look for an easy way out.  
» Rattan, Good, & Dweck (2012) found that educators with a fixed mindset about math ability were more likely to judge students as having low potential than their growth-minded counterparts.

» Review the "Growth Mindset Lesson Plan", a collaboration between the Khan Academy and Stanford University's Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS), an applied research center on academic mindsets, which provides suggestions for activities, videos, and other resources for enhancing instruction.

» Wilson and Conyers (2017) suggest five strategies to help build a growth mindset in students: encouraging optimism about learning, teaching students to learn more effectively, maintaining success files, using growth assessments, and letting students choose.
For more information and ideas on growth mindset, GO to:

»Your TTAC library and check out:    
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
  • Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools by Mary Cay Ricci
» Carol Dweck's TED Talk - The Power of Believing That You Can Improve, a good introduction to the field of mindset research.  Dweck describes two ways to think about a problem that's slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it ... or have you just not solved it yet?
» Mindset Works provides training for educators and students. Trainers consist of practitioners, coaches, leaders, and researchers who translate academic research into teacher and student programs to increase motivation and self-efficacy of self-driven learners.

» Visit the Mindset Works video library to view numerous video talks by educators and researchers all related to the topic of growth mindset, including:    
» "Young Adult Novels that Teach a Growth Mindset", an Edutopia (2017) article by Robert Ward, that highlights young adult novels for middle and high school students whose characters teach or exemplify a growth mindset.   


» Dweck, C.S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York, NY: Random House. 

» Dweck, C.S. (2010). Even geniuses work hard. Educational Leadership, 68(1), 16-20.

Dweck, C.S. (2015, September 22). Carol Dweck revisits the "growth mindset." Education Week. Retrieved »

Dweck, C.S. (2016, January 13). What having a "growth mindset" actually means. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved »

» Khan Academy. Growth mindset lesson plan. Retrieved » 

» PERTS (Project for Education Research that Scales) 

» Rattan, A., Good, C., & Dweck, C.S. (May 2012). "It's ok - Not everyone can be good at math": Instructors with an entity theory comfort (and demotivate) students. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48(3), 731-737.    
» Ward, R. (2017, March 9). Young adult novels that teach a growth mindset. Edutopia. Retrieved »
» Wilson, D., & Conyers, M. (2017). Helping struggling students build a growth mindset. Edutopia. Retrieved » 
This news brief is a collaborative effort of the Virginia Department of Education Training and Technical Assistance Centers at George Mason University and James Madison University. This issue was prepared by the staff of the VDOE TTAC at James Madison University. For questions about content, please contact Jen MacRae, Kandy Grant, Cheryl Henderson, or Lisa Norris or call 540.568.6746.