Growth Mindset (Fall 2018)

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Overview and Purpose

Everyone makes mistakes, but how we respond to those mistakes says a lot about a person. Educators should provide students with opportunities to make mistakes in the classroom and learn from inevitable mistakes. Having a growth mindset, the belief in your ability to improve, overcome, and learn, is the key to success. The purpose of this course is to help educators learn the importance of growth mindset and how growth mindsets can be promoted in the classroom to promote student success.

Topics to be covered:

  • What is Growth Mindset?
  • What does Growth Mindset Teaching look like?
  • How can educators promote Growth Mindsets in their classrooms?

Needs Assessment

Instructional Problem:

The intention of this course is to offer educators the opportunity to learn about the importance of growth mindset and how it can be promoted in their classrooms. As a high school math teacher, many students think they are either good or bad at math once they sit in my classroom. Conversations with other teachers of other content areas and age groups have highlighted the need to provide information on how growth mindset can be encouraged in students and promoted in classrooms.

What is to be Learned:

After this course, learners will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between fixed and growth mindset
  • Promote growth mindset in their classrooms
  • Evaluate whether or not students have adopted a growth mindset

The Learners:

Educators who are interested in promoting growth mindset and helping students succeed in and out of the classroom will benefit from this mini-course. Teachers of all content areas and grade levels, as well as administrators, will benefit from learning about the power of positive thinking.

Context for Instruction: This course will be taught using an online platform. To access the lessons and materials, you will need a device with sufficient internet connectivity. Units will contain relevant scholarly articles and web resources on growth mindset.

Each unit will be designed in a similar manner. Units will begin with an overview of learning objectives, followed by several activities. The participants will post their responses and reflect on each lesson before moving forward. All activities will be learner-centered and authentic tasks.

Instructional Problem and Solution: Students often feel that there competence in the classroom is limited. It is not uncommon to hear students say that they are just no good at social studies, they are a math person, or they just hate science. The problem is students feel like their success in the classroom is already determined for them based off of their previous understandings, grades in previous courses, or what they hear from others. The solution to this problem is promoting growth mindset. A growth mindset is important both in and out of the classroom, as students learn to appreciate understanding and are aware that misunderstandings can be overcame.

Generate Goals: The goal for this mini-course is to teach educators the difference between growth and fixed mindset and provide them with resources to promote growth mindset in their classrooms.

Performance Objectives

Learners will demonstrate an understanding of growth mindset by identifying the difference between growth and fixed mindsets.

Learners will define growth mindset in their own words.

Learners will discover the importance of mistakes and the power of yet.

Learners will identify ways to promote growth mindset in the classroom.

Course Units

Unit 1: Learners will understand the difference between fixed and growth mindsets.

 -Lesson 1: Learners will define growth mindset.
          Learners will discover their own mindset and learn what it means to have a growth mindset. 
 -Lesson 2: Learners will compare and contrast growth and fixed mindsets.
          Learners will reflect on their own mindsets, as well as the mindsets of students.


Unit 2: Learners will create a classroom activity to promote growth mindset.

 -Lesson 3: Learners will discover the importance of mistakes and the power of yet.
          Learners will explore growth mindset strategies that can be used in their classrooms. 
 -Lesson 4: Learners will create their own strategy to implement in their classroom to promote and assess student mindsets.
          Learners will create their own strategy to implement in their classrooms to promote and assess student mindsets.