Growth Mindset defined and free quotes to display in the Elementary Classroom.
You’ve probably come across the term Growth Mindset and perhaps are actively advocating its principles in your classroom. But before we look at some ways we can train our students to have a growth mindset, let’s revisit the term again.
What is Growth Mindset?
As the term implies, a growth mindset is having a mindset (an attitude) that your brain can grow, and that you can do things that seem impossible.
Often, reminding students that they will succeed if they try, sustains them with hope and passion to keep striving. This, in fact, is one of the core principles of a growth mindset.
For kids who don’t believe they are smart, it is a change in mindset and a belief that they are indeed smart.
The confidence that stems from the effort of this can-do-attitude drive, often results in success.
Failure is seen as a ‘pillar of success’.
What is Fixed Mindset?
For decades, we believed that we are either born smart – or not.
It was thought that our brains can’t grow anymore, and we had to make do with the knowledge and skills we had.
On the contrary, the science of neurogenesis suggests that we can actually ‘train’ our brain to grow. Taking up challenges and learning new things creates new neurons in our brain.
In other words, we are not necessarily born smart, but we become smart. This assurance no doubt gives students hope and the willpower to not give up, but to keep striving.
How Can Students Have A Growth Mindset?
1. By Changing Their Vocabulary
Just as in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), for students to have a growth mindset, we must gear our students’ negative thoughts into more positive ones.
From, ‘I can’t do it,’ to ‘I can’t do it yet,’ or ‘It’s hard for me,’ to ‘It’s hard, but I will give it a go.’
In this kind of thinking, challenges are viewed as opportunities for growth rather than setups for failure.
2. Educators Need to Set By Example
In order for our students to have a growth mindset, we as educators, need to have the right growth mindset ourselves.
The fact that we label our students as academically challenged and place them in groups accordingly is indicative of a fixed mindset.
If we don’t believe our students can attempt the task, then how can we accept our students to think otherwise?
Teachers must adopt the mindset that all students can learn and achieve success. Talking to our students about overcoming our own challenges can equip our students with the confidence to overcome failure and keep trying until successful.
3. Give The Right Praise
One of the criteria by which students are assessed in our school’s Student Report Card is ‘student effort’. We rate our students’ overall effort on a scale and also provide written feedback.
Reporting on a student’s effort should not be just during Report Card Time or written for that matter.
In fact, ‘praising children for their effort and performance rather than their ability or intelligence’ must be the norm. (Anderson & Nielsen, 2016)
4. Focus on the Process
You must have heard of the saying that it’s the journey, not the destination that’s enriching. Likewise, as educators, we must focus on the process students take to obtain a skill and not the end result.
Setting up a reward system in place as an incentive will make the process even more enriching resulting in increased motivation and a change of thinking.
5. A Visual Reminder
Having a visual display in the classroom reminds students to have the right mindset.
Einck (2017) advocates displaying posters to remind students to practice a growth mindset.
These free posters appeal to younger elementary students. The Superhero theme itself serves as a catalyst for students to think positively.
To conclude this post, it is vital to build our students’ metacognitive skills.
They must think positively and see setbacks and challenges as opportunities to learn and grow not just in school – but through the rest of life.
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Are you looking for a new classroom decor for this or the next school year? The Superhero Classroom Decor has over 1,000 editable sheets.
These Growth Mindset Quotes are included in this mega bundle too.
Need further reading? Read how to ban the boring and teach writing that’s interesting!