Growth Mindset in the Classroom

Growth Mindset in the Classroom - Octavia and Vicky

Growth mindset has gained a LOT of attention in education. Our Partnership has chosen to invest in growth mindset PD for all staff (six schools) with continued support to learn and grow together. I feel pretty lucky to have these opportunities!

Recently we met in year level groups at one school, where I had the chance to share with and hear from other early years teachers about supporting growth mindset in the classroom. I love visiting other teachers and hearing their ideas!

What does growth mindset look like in the classroom? 

I’m no expert! But in my own words, growth mindset is about developing a school and community culture of perseverance and risk-taking. It’s teaching children strategies to help them persist, even when things are difficult. Growth mindset focuses on effort more than achievement. Who wouldn’t want that for their students?

If you’re interested in getting deep into it, I highly recommend Carol Dweck’s book ‘Mindset‘. I listened to the audiobook, it was very easy to take in while I was pottering about washing dishes or cooking dinner. I do love multi-tasking :)

Unfortunately, growth mindset is not a quick fix and won’t be  easily developed and supported by stand-alone lessons or a few posters on the wall. Sorry! For a growth mindset culture to really flourish and thrive, teachers need to embed growth mindset language into their practice while also walking the talk.

Ideas for  building a growth mindset culture in your classroom

  • role model making mistakes or getting stuck, then keeping on trying. I love hamming up the drama in these moments
  • read picture books to encourage a growth mindset (see below for ideas)
  • use growth mindset songs for brain breaks (our school recently chose songs with growth mindset focussed lyrics for dance performances)
  • when celebrating local heroes (school sport players and award winners) be sure to talk about how they got there and the effort and persistence they put in
  • when conferencing students on their reading, writing or problem-solving discuss the strategies they’re using well and the effort they’ve put in, as well as teaching strategies for how to move learning forward
  • help students set goals for their learning and teach them how to review their effort and achievement regularly

Find more ideas on my Growth Mindset Pinterest Board

There are some fantastic picture books for promoting growth mindset, here are a few curated lists:

Does your school promote a growth mindset culture? 

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