Brockport Research Institute

24 Brook Terrace | Brockport, NY 14420

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Building a Growth Mindset in Students

Jun 26, 2020 at 09:00 am by katecaccavaio

Understanding how students think and process information is central to effective teaching. Some students believe that intelligence is static and unchageable, while others believe that intelligence can be developed, like strengthening a muscle. The first kind of students have a fixed mindset, and the second kind of student have what is called a growth mindset.

"Growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way — in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments — everyone can change and grow through application and experience," says Carol Dweck, Ph.D. Her academic research in psychology explores how belief systems impact our behavior. "Believing that your qualities are carved in stone — the fixed mindset — creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over." 

Students with a fixed mindset rarely ask questions out of anxiety that they will be perceived as unintelligent, whereas students with a growth mindset have a passion for the educational process and often ask questions for a better understanding. Fixed and growth mindsets also affect students’ learning goals, their responses to feedback and setbacks, and, ultimately their academic performance. Teachers are responsible for identifying what kind of mindset a student brings to the classroom and then tailoring instruction to engage students in both their efforts and their ability to master the material being taught. BRI offers a range of Professional Development courses forteachers and leaders to increase their knowledge and sharpen their skills at identifying and cultivating growth mindsets.

In addition to this brand-new course, we offer a range of continuing teacher and leader education in pedagogy, online & distance learning, social-emotional learning, physical education & wellness, and many other topics.  All courses this year are available in classroom, online, and hybrid formats in the 2020-2021 course catalog, click here to view.

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