Unless we believe we can improve, we can’t. A belief that growth is possible is Step Zero toward meeting any goal.
Our students often come to us in the grips of what Dr. Carol Dweck, in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, calls a “fixed mindset.” It is a belief that intelligence and ability are essentially static, and that efforts to improve are pointless and even a sign of inadequacy. To be honest, we often carry that mindset in our own lives. In order for learning and improvement to take place, our students (and we ourselves) must be encouraged to develop, in Dweck’s words, a “growth mindset,” a belief that intelligence and ability are not predetermined, and that effort, struggle, and even failure are not catastrophes, but opportunities.
The presentation below is intended to introduce this idea of the growth mindset to teachers, in the hopes that they can learn to make it part of their lives and, in turn, help their students embrace it. It is the first part of what would ideally be an ongoing conversation.
The presentation script (with references) is included as a Google Doc, and it includes a link to a view-only version of the Google Slides presentation; sections of the presentation that can and should be customized for the particular presenter. The presentation itself is also included, with the script inserted as slide notes.