A Growth Mindset Plan

CategoriesEDLD 5302growth mindsetTagged

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. 

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About the author

I am an instructional technologist for the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry in Richmond, VA. Before that, I spent more than 20 years as a public school music teacher in Chesterfield County, VA, primarily teaching guitar and music technoogy at the high school level. I hold a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Richmond, and a Master of Education degree with a focus on Digital Learning and Leading from Lamar University. I believe that every person has the need, the desire, the ability, and the right to learn, and that as educators we must meet our students wherever they are, and help bring them to where they want and deserve to be.