Growth Mindset and Its Importance

By Kimberly Granholm


8:45 A.M. Distinguishing Mindsets

  • What are the two mindsets?
  • Which one is better to teach the kids?

9:15 A.M. Determining which mindset you have

  • Questionnaire
  • Find Results
  • Determine how that affects how you'll teach the kids

10:30 A.M. How to teach the kids to have a growth mindset

  • Activities
  • Encouragement
  • Determination
  • Praise
  • Bringing Growth Mindset Home

Growth Mindset

What is a growth mindset? How do people with growth mindsets think?

  • They believe that there is always room for improvement and not everything that happens cannot be improved on. To get to where they want, they have to continue working on and not be hindered by their mistakes.
  • "For them, even geniuses have to work hard for their achievements." (Dweck 41)
  • " believe you can develop yourself, then you're open to accurate information about your current abilities, even if it's unflattering." (Dweck 11)
  • " ...makes you concerned with improving." (Dweck 13)


  • MBA students in a class of negotiation were given statements relating to growth and fixed mindsets. They believed that the growth mindset had encouraged greater learning. The researchers found that those "earned higher final grades in the course weeks later." (Dweck 139)
  • Coach John Wooden for the UCLA basketball team had been hired while the fans did not believe that they had a chance. The players did not have substantial facilities but through training, "he gave them a mindset." (Dweck 207) He treated all the players equally and as a result, some of the players took this mindset on and outside of college.
Growth Mindset Video


What is a fixed mindset? How do people with fixed mindsets think?

  • People with fixed mindsets tend to believe that they don't have the ability to improve. They don't want to strive to achieve something.
  • "If things get too challenging- when they're not feeling smart or talented- they lose interest." (Dweck 22)
  • "People with the fixed mindset have just as much confidence as people with the growth mindset- before anything happens, that is... their confidence is more fragile since setbacks and even effort can undermine it." (Dweck 51)


  • John McEnroe was the number one tennis player for four years. Because he was number one, he believed that since he was number one, everyone should treat him as if he was number one. He believed that "if you're successful, you're better than other people. You get to abuse them and have them grovel." (Dweck 31)
  • In high school, Billy Beane was in all the sports. He was on the basketball team, football team, and on the baseball team. He didn't try to fix his problems. He believed that "natural talent should not need effort. Effort is for others, the less endowed. Natural talent does not ask for help." (Dweck 83)


  • Motivate- Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation aid in the development of actions by working harder. Motivation encourages people, especially kids, to want to change or achieve something.
  • Set Goals- make them want to achieve them. "Goals are specific targets." (Woolfolk 453) Make them develop a goal orientation, or "patterns of beliefs about goals related to achievement in school." (Woolfolk 453)
  • Specify the Aim- Make the lessons clear for the kids. "Be sure the goal is not too difficult." (Woolfolk 456) Goals need to be "clear, specific, reasonable, moderately challenging, and attainable." (Woolfolk 456)
  • Self-Confidence is key- "Failure-avoiding students tend to hold an entity (fixed) view of ability, so they set performance goals." (Woolfolk 461) By developing a higher self-esteem and self confidence, they'll achieve better goals.
  • Give Credit- Let the kids know that what they're doing is good. Don't be negative. One must have "recognition for accomplishments." (Woolfolk 473) By giving them positive feedback, they'll have a better reaction and motivation.
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Woolfork, A. (2016). Educational Psychology (Thirteenth ed.). Ohio: Pearson Education.

Dweck, P. (2008). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York, New York: Ballantine Books.


Growth Mindset Video [Motion picture]. (2014). United States.