How to Develop a Growth Mindset In Schools

Everything you need to know about how to develop a growth mindset in schools

You have heard about growth mindset and know many teachers who are keen to develop it.

But how do you develop a growth mindset in schools?

Growth mindset refers to a learning theory developed by Dr Carol Dweck. It revolves around the belief that you can improve intelligence, ability and performance. The opposite, a fixed mindset, refers to the belief that a person’s talents are set in stone . Years of research have shown that mindset is malleable. This means that by helping students to develop a growth mindset, we can help them to learning more effective and efficient.

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Advantages of a Growth Mindset

There is a lot of peer-reviewed research on the pros of encouraging a growth mindset in students. These include:

Growth mindset coaching has been shown to be most beneficial for disengaged students

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How to Develop a Growth Mindset

There is no set way on to develop a growth mindset in students. Areas that may act as a good starting point include:

  • Types of Praise – praising the process, their effort and individual development over the result, Encouraging your students to ask for and act on feedback. Encouraging a sense of curiosity

  • Level of Expectation – having high, challenging but realistic expectations of their performance and communicating this to your students. This can also help to fight against Imposter Syndrome.

  • Positive Group Norms – creating a growth culture that values learning, education and development

  • Helpful Self-Talk – Teaching students to manage how they talk to themselves and to do so in a positive, helpful and energised way.

A recent survey found that 98% of teachers believed that if their students had a growth mindset it would lead to improved student learning.

However only 20% of them believed they were good at fostering a growth mindset and 85% wanted more training and practical strategies.

How to Develop a Growth Mindset In Schools Blog Posts


How to Develop a Growth Mindset Free Resources



Is it easy to develop a growth mindset?

Developing a growth mindset isn’t easy, however it is achievable with time and effort. Students develop a growth mindset by recognising that the brain isn’t a fixed entity and that improvements can be made through learning new information.

How do you develop a growth mindset?

A growth mindset can be developed by monitoring and evaluating your performances to identify how you can improve next time. Another way in which you can develop a growth mindset is by talking to yourself in a positive way, for example instead of saying I can’t do it, say I can’t do it yet.

How can I help my child develop a growth mindset?

Research has shown that parents can help their child develop a growth mindset by praising their efforts rather than praising their existing talents. Other research suggests that presenting failures in a more positive light can encourage learning and in turn increase your child’s belief that they can improve.

How can I develop growth mindset in the classroom?

Growth mindset can be developed in the classroom by providing students with a range of different strategies that help improve the way they work and their ability to cope with pressure. By teaching students multiple strategies you provide them with the tools to persevere when faced with difficulties.

Does developing a growth mindset in students help improve grades?

Some research suggests that there may be a link between growth mindset and grades, especially for struggling students. One study which looked at over 160,000 students found that students who have a growth mindset consistently outperform those who do not, an effect which remained consistent across different socioeconomic groups. Growth mindsets can also improve grades by removing stereotype threats where students believe that only a select group will achieve in a certain subject.

What is the difference between a fixed mindset and growth mindset?

With a growth mindset our abilities can be improved through effort and learning whereas with a fixed mindset we believe our attributes are fixed and largely unchangeable. Those with a fixed mindset often limit their learning by avoiding new strategies and see failure as a judgement of their abilities

Can you recommend more stuff for me to read about how to develop a growth mindset?

Here are a few good places to start:

Do you want to help your students develop a growth mindset?

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