Assessment data is all about growth, not results. How can we introduce students to the importance of cultivating and celebrating growth mindset, and just as importantly, how do we communicate this to parents? Read the following tips for encouraging a growth mindset environment in your classroom.
Familiarize yourself with growth mindset.
Start with the famous research by Dr. Carol Dweck and her team, which shows the cognitive implications behind growth mindset. If you need more, there’s a whole corner of Edutopia devoted to growth mindset that you may want to bookmark to keep a pulse on growth mindset in education!
Adopt growth mindset teaching practices.
Share the research with students and allow them to see that you aren’t making this up! We particularly recommend the TEDx Talks by Carol Dweck on Believing You Can improve, and Eduardo Briceno’s Talk on The Power of Belief. On an ongoing basis, help students adjust their language to reflect growth-minded, rather than fixed, attitudes about themselves. Also, check your compliments. Instead of saying, “You’re so smart,” try, “I can see how much effort you put into this, and it really paid off.” Finally, highlight growth mindset in students’ literature.
Make sure parents are aware of this practice in your classroom, and equip them with the tools to understand.
As with students, share the research with parents. Having an open-house? Share a bit about growth mindset! It’s a mental exercise we can all benefit from. Post a link to the Parenting Resources page of Dr. Dweck’s research, whether it’s on your class website or a letter home. Use this bilingual resource as inspiration for introducing growth mindset to parents, and
encourage them to share it with their child.
Around testing time, revisit the idea of growth mindset, both with students and parents.
As we encourage students to see “intelligence as malleable” rather than fixed, mapping their assessment results helps students see this change over time. MAP brings a tangible quality to growth mindset, as we gather data in real-time on what students need to focus on. Read more in Kathy Dyer’s post on “Connecting Growth Mindset and Assessment.”
Believe in growth mindset for yourself.
Everyone is a student when it comes to growth mindset. Looking to cultivate your own? Check out this Edutopia article, “Teachers Need a Growth Mindset Too.”
How do you keep a growth mindset in the classroom? Share in the comments below!