Growth Mindset and Confidence


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If you've spent time in a math classroom, you've probably noticed that some students lack the confidence that they can succeed because they think they're just "bad at math." This mindset can be changed and their confidence can be increased with the right strategies.

Needs Assessment

Instructional problem: Math can be a mental block for students if they have the mindset that they are bad at math and they always will be. Teachers need to break down this concrete view of students' abilities by instilling a growth mindset. They have to find a way for students to change their minds and "buy in" to their learning. According to Carol Dweck (2010), teaching a growth mindset can have some great benefits. It creates motivation and productivity, extending outside the classroom, and enhances relationships (Dweck, 2010). Students' different backgrounds not only affect their knowledge base, but also their outlook on education and whether they have a fixed or growth mindset (Dweck, 2010). Leading students to a growth mindset can help them be more successful in their education.

Dweck, C. (2010). MindSet. Retrieved from

Performance Objectives

Course-level objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

    -Define a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.
    -Identify ways to encourage its implication in the classroom.
    -Describe methods that will increase a a child's confidence in a math classroom.

Course Outline

 -Lesson 1: Defining fixed and growth mindsets
          -Participants will read about fixed and growth mindsets
 -Lesson 2: Differentiating between fixed and growth mindsets
          -Participants will determine, given a situation, if a student is thinking with a growth or fixed mindset.
 -Lesson 3: Promoting a Growth Mindset
          -Participants will discover strategies to use in their classroom to encourage students to think with a growth mindset.
 -Lesson 4: Building Students' Confidence in Their Math Abilities
          -Participants will build on the previous strategies with ones that will boost students' confidence.

References and Resources

Dweck, C. (2010). MindSet. Retrieved from