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Quick Growth Mindset Tips For Teachers

Love the growth mindset concept but unsure how to introduce it to your students? We’ve got you covered! For those of you who haven’t looked at the growth mindset section in our school planners (pg.8), we’ve got some words of wisdom for you.

Read our growth mindset tips for teachers below:

1. Teachers are still learners

growth-mindset-tips-for-teachersIt’s important to understand that as a teacher, you will need to learn and embrace new ways of thinking.

If your students see that you are willing to open yourself up to new learning strategies then this will encourage them to do the same.

So think about how you can improve your own teaching methods with a growth mindset before focusing on your pupils (i.e. adopt the ‘put your own oxygen mask on first’ approach).

2. Encourage mistakes in class

growth-mindset-tips-for-teachers-2Part of the beauty of the growth mindset is that it opens doors to trying new things. Often pupils stick to what they know to avoid making mistakes. Reassure them that mistakes are necessary and a healthy part of personal growth.

This is one of the most important growth mindset tips for teachers so take note!

 

3. Don’t ‘over-praise’

growth-mindset-tips-for-teachersYes, encouraging students is vital but teachers should be praising students’ effort and growth, rather than their attainment. This doesn’t mean that you ignore the fact a pupil got an A on an essay – you just need to be careful with how you congratulate them.

The growth mindset style of praise means praising the work that the student has put into that essay, rather than the grade itself.

This means that they won’t be ashamed to get a lower grade sometimes because they will be more concerned with their own learning and effort.

For examples of the types of comments you could try, read our ‘Wrong Kind of Praise’ blog post.

Drop us a tweet if you’d like more growth mindset tips for teachers or contact us here 🙂

The Wrong Kind of Praise: Growth Mindset

Adopting a growth mindset nearly always needs to be a conscious act. This is because, for most of us, it’s all too easy to slip into fixed mindset tendencies, especially when it comes to praising young minds.

Firstly, let’s (very broadly) define the terms ‘growth’ and ‘fixed’ in this context:

Growth mindset – Success is about learning and self-improvement. The more effort that needs to be put into a challenge, the better; we are all on a learning curve.

Fixed mindset – Individual intelligence is determined very early on and cannot be changed. It is better to stick to what you know and succeed, than to try something new and fail.

 How we often praise success:

“You’re so brilliant you got an A without even studying!”

“You learned that so quickly! You’re so smart!”

Notice anything unsupportive about these phrases? If you’re like most parents and teachers then you will probably hear these as positive, esteem-boosting messages. Well this is what the majority of children subconsciously hear:

I’d better stop studying or they won’t think I’m brilliant anymore.

If I don’t learn something quickly, I’m not smart. 

wrong-kind-of-praise

Image Source: William Clarence

But shouldn’t we praise children to help with their self-belief?

It’s true that praise can be incredibly beneficial (not just to children but adults too!) but we need to be careful about what we are praising.

Praising intelligence and talent gives a very short-lived boost which vanishes as soon as the child hits any sort of snag – a low test score for example. If we continue to tell them that success makes them smart, then unfortunately they will conclude that failure is a result of stupidity. This is a prime example of a fixed mindset.

So what is the right kind of praise?

wrong-kind-of-praise-2

Image Source – WikiMedia

Rather than praising intelligence and raw talent, we need to make a point of praising the growth-oriented process. This means taking an interest in accomplishment through things like revision, persistence and practice. Showing appreciation for effort is a great way of encouraging and reinforcing the growth mindset in our pupils and children.

Here are some examples of growth-oriented praise:

“That homework was so long and involved. I really admire the way you concentrated and finished it.”

“You put so much thought into this essay. It really makes me understand Shakespeare in a new way.”

Notice a difference?

 

For more on growth mindset, have a read of Do You Have A Growth Mindset?  It’s also worth heading to http://mindsetonline.com/whatisit/about/ or taking a look at Dr Carol Dweck’s fantastic book, Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential, which forms the basis of this article.

Do You Have a Growth Mindset?

The new Boomerang 2016/17 school planners showcase psychologist Carol Dweck’s groundbreaking ‘growth mindset’ concept, designed to help students thrive both in and out of school.

So What’s ‘Growth Mindset’ All About?

The theory goes, that as human beings, we have 2 principal mindsets: FIXED and GROWTH:

FIXED MINDSET TRAITS:

  • heavily self-critical
  • likely to avoid challenges
  • ignores constructive criticism
  • gives up easily
  • believes that intelligence is fixed and so can’t be changed

GROWTH MINDSET TRAITS:

  • thrives on challenges
  • capable of growth and doesn’t expect to achieve goals immediately
  • willing to put in effort
  • strategic and focused approach to learning

Explore our Carpe Diem page for exciting opportunities if you’re looking to embrace a new, more positive mindset.

You can also take this speedy quiz to help you determine your mindset. Just click here

– Find out more in Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential, by Dr Carol S. Dweck –