Peg Mannion
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From: Friday, July 1, 2016 1:56 PM -0500
Subject:Growth Mindset Makes a Difference
A student's intrinsic motivation is what deeply impacts learning.  We are discovering from research that a key driver that influences and impacts a student's commitment and work ethic is called a "growth mindset".  A growth mindset can be defined as  "the understanding that your abilities, including intelligence, grow with dedication and hard work.” Research also indicates that this mindset can be cultivated in students if specific strategies are used.

Your local public school recognizes that mindsets are formed from people's observations of the world, thus school cultures deeply impact mindsets and self-drive.  
Teachers and administrators regularly examine and discuss systemic ways to foster and deepen growth mindsets among their students.   The following are strategic ways that instructors build a growth mindset culture and environment in their classrooms:

Encourage Students to Take on Challenges
A strong teacher knows how to keep expectations high, even allowing students to become frustrated. Reaching a target or achieving a goal, through persistence and hard work, builds students’ confidence and self-esteem.

Praise Risk-taking
Providing corrective feedback on student work and complimenting individual students for taking risks, particularly when they fail, creates a safe environment.  When it's safe to make mistakes, students learn.

Praise Effort
Building an atmosphere where students learn to persist, even when they are frustrated, builds resiliency.

Students Asking Questions
Students need to understand that asking questions is an integral part of the learning process.  Students learn to frame their questions regarding process, clarity and misconceptions. This builds deeper independent thinkers.

Practice & Persistence
Students need multiple low-stake opportunities to start, restart, and work through challenges, correct mistakes and complete work.  Through practice and multiple attempts at tests, projects and assignments, they are learning that it takes time, effort and persistence to achieve goals.
When students achieve beyond what they thought possible, their beliefs about their potential change, leading them to invest themselves more in school. This results in further improvement in performance and reinforces their belief in their potential for growth.

As students do well, they are placed in higher-level classes – gateways that raise their expectations, expose them to high-achieving peers and improve subsequent academic opportunities.  Research shows that, through a growth mindset approach, students can gain momentum and achieve better academic outcomes over time.