What is Growth Mindset?

Growth Mindset - what is it, why it's important, and how you can help you children develop one.

A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence is something that can be obtained through hard work and challenging yourself.

Parents and teachers alike are tasked with the important job of helping children to reach their highest potential. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle, but helping them to develop the correct mindset can put kids on the right path to success both in the classroom and in all other aspects of their life. Those whose attitudes and responses line up with the growth mindset definition find it easier to overcome challenges and make the most of mistakes and other difficult situations.

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What is Growth Mindset?

The growth mindset definition was developed by Dr. Carol Dweck and her colleagues after years of research on behavior and success. A growth mindset simply means that a person believes that intelligence is something that can be obtained through hard work and challenging yourself. Rather than simply being born with a fixed amount of intelligence or talent in a specific area and no way to develop beyond that set point, a growth mindset focuses on the possibilities.

We all know that our beliefs are a powerful thing, but believing that everyone has the capacity to achieve truly seems to unlock that potential in children.

Understanding this concept is relatively easy to grasp with Dweck's growth mindset book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. However, seeing the results in practice will help solidify exactly how this thought process works. For example, classrooms whose teachers go through training to teach with a growth mindset are often significantly more successful than others. Successful teachers breed successful students and that in turn changes the future for us all.

How Do You Support Growth Mindset?

In children, the growth mindset definition is instilled by the constant encouragement of their teachers, parents, and other influential adults around them. One of the simplest ways that any growth mindset book will suggest to begin to teach this concept is by changing the way you respond to their achievements and failures. Here are five ways to support a growth mindset in and out of the classroom.

1. Celebrate effort, rather than successes and failures.

Point out the hard work that is out in each day and how many things they have learned throughout the process.

2. Make lots of use of the word “yet”.

According to Dr. Dweck, reminding students that it’s not that they can’t do something, it’s that they haven’t perfected it yet. This goes a long way toward helping them set and achieve challenging goals.

3. Never say that a student has failed at something.

Instead, remind them that they are still learning and have some more work to do to reach that particular learning goal.

4. Try different learning strategies to help children find success.

There are several different learning styles and a student who is struggling may just need to be taught with a different approach.

5. When praising good results, be sure to put the focus on the effort, rather than the outcome.

Instead of being excited over a high grade, reinforce how proud you are of the studying they did to reach their goal.

In order to begin imparting a growth mindset within your children or students, take some time to learn more about what a growth mindset is and how you can support the idea. Pick up a growth mindset book that will help you get a better grasp of the grown mindset definition and allow you to learn effective techniques to help your children continue to grow their potential.

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