How can teachers work with students and families to build a classroom culture that encourages a growth mindset?
In an education climate where intelligence and good grades are the markers of success, are we leaving room for growth and failure? My study examined how can teachers implement lessons and strategies to build a classroom culture that encourages a growth mindset. In a growth mindset, people believe that they can develop their intelligence and abilities through hard work and persistence. The opposing mindset is a fixed mindset, in which people believe that intelligence and talents are innate and cannot be learned. Through surveys, journal entries, focus groups and observations of 25 fifth grade students at Explorer Elementary Charter School in San Diego, I documented a change in student responses to challenges, mistakes, and hard work. Through explicitly educating my class about how their brains work and about mindsets, I found students were motivated to take on challenges, adapted their language to be growth mindset oriented, and felt more comfortable making mistakes.