Applying The Growth Mindset In School: Tobias Elementary

 

“We were learning about what teachers can say and share in the classroom to encourage student growth… If a student says ‘I can’t’, then maybe we can say ‘not yet'”.

Principal Paige Collier shares how the teaching community at Tobias embraced the Growth Mindset as a foundational approach for social emotional learning. From brain-based teaching strategies, Tobias implemented The 7 Mindsets for its common language and curriculum.

This year, 7 Mindsets explores seven schools from across the United States with a film crew in tow. Our second stop is Tobias Elementary near Austin, TX, a school community that has embraced the Growth Mindset, while implementing The 7 Mindsets as a structure and common language for social and emotional learning.
This is a community of explorers who live by a rigorous, yet light-hearted commitment to each whole child. Enjoy!

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From Wikipedia:

Dweck argues that the growth mindset will allow a person to live a less stressful and more successful life. Dweck’s definition of fixed and growth mindsets from a 2012 interview:

“In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”[8]

This is important because (1) individuals with a “growth” theory are more likely to continue working hard despite setbacks and (2) individuals’ theories of intelligence can be affected by subtle environmental cues. For example, children given praise such as “good job, you’re very smart” are much more likely to develop a fixed mindset, whereas if given compliments like “good job, you worked very hard” they are likely to develop a growth mindset. In other words, it is possible to encourage students, for example, to persist despite failure by encouraging them to think about learning in a certain way.