How can you create a growth mindset?
Episode 6 of Part 1 of our Introduction series: Setting the stage for success.
Habits: Growth mindset | Know thyself
Skills: Self-confidence | Belief
Description: This episode introduces three strategies for helping you to create a growth mindset. They include growing your brain through learning and practice; learn one, do one, teach one; and adding 'yet'.
How this lesson might be applied in the classroom
Following on from the previous episode that introduced the concept of fixed and growth-mindsets, this episode focuses on three simple techniques that help to build a growth mindset:
- Growing your brain: essentially by adding additional neurons through learning new concepts, as well as adding new connections to those neurons by practicing the new concept you've learned.
- Learn one, do one, teach one: this is simply one method by which to achieve growing your brain. You learn a new idea, then you practice it (do one - or more accurately do a few), then to ensure mastery, you teach the concept to someone else.
- Adding 'yet': simply adding the word yet to the end of fixed-mindset statements such as "I'm no good at math" or "I'm not a languages person" can be enough to change your thinking from a fixed to a growth-mindset. The trick here of course is to be able to catch yourself saying (or thinking) the fixed-mindset statements in the first place.
Possible classroom discussion questions include:
- Do you feel like you've grown your brain in the past?
- Are you worried that you might run out of space to add new things? Why/Why not?
- Which of the three ideas presented today do you think would be most helpful for you to build a growth-mindset? Why/Why not?
- How difficult do you think it will be for you to spot yourself making a fixed-mindset statement?
- What could you do to spot more of your fixed-mindset statements?
- If you have to 'learn one', and 'do one' at school already, how could you find a way to include the 'teach one' part to help you really master a topic?
- Have you ever taught something to someone in the past? If so, how did it improve your own understanding of the subject/idea?
- When you've taught something to someone in the past, do you think they had a fixed or a growth-mindset when you were trying to teach them? How do you know?
- How did their mindset impact on their understanding of the idea?
Some specific discussion points (repeated from previous episode)
Discussion of any literary works, historical figures, or current events featuring prominent individuals offers an opportunity to discuss where people may have applied either a fixed or a growth-mindset.
Questions may include:
- Which well known people in history or from today do you think have a growth-mindset? Why?
- How would this person be different if they had more of a fixed-mindset?
- Which well known people in history or from today do you think have a fixed-mindset? Why?
- How would this person be different if they had more of a growth-mindset?
- What were the outcomes for these people of having either a fixed or a growth-mindset?
- Do you think talented people are just born that way?
- Who can you think of who is just naturally talented? How well do you know their story?
Discussing the quote from this episode:
"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." — Albert Einstein
Possible areas of discussion may include:
- Do you think Albert Einstein really wasn't that smart? Why/Why not?
- Does staying with problems longer make you smarter? Why/Why not?
- Has there been a time when you've stayed with a problem longer than might be typical? What was the outcome?
- What happens if you give up on a problem early?
- If it's hard to stay with problems longer, what could you do to make it easier on yourself to stay the course?
Further information on this topic
If you'd like to dive a bit deeper on this topic, you might be interested in watching:
Or you might like to read:
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
by Carol S. Dweck, PhD, 2007.
Please let us know how we could improve this episode?
We're always keen to hear how our work can be improved. If you can think of anything we can do to improve either the delivery of our content, the content itself, the exercises, or our guides to how the lesson can be applied in the classroom, please let us know.