growth mindset

The Benefits of a Growth Mindset in the Classroom

Posted on October 31, 2018 : Posted in Legacy Academy, Parenting Tips

growth mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence is developed, not set in stone. It is typically juxtaposed with a fixed mindset, meaning the idea that all abilities and intelligence are inborn and won’t change over time. A mindset shaped by the belief in growth sees all experiences, including failure, as opportunities for learning and growth. A fixed mindset sees failure as an indication of being “ill-suited” for a particular task. A growth mindset benefits students enormously in the classroom. Here are some specific benefits as well as ways to encourage a growth mindset in young learners.

Finding Opportunity in Failure

While failure can be very uncomfortable, the way a child views mistakes determines how failure affects them. When a child has a growth mindset, he views failure as an opportunity. No effort is wasted, and he is able to learn from his mistakes for his next effort. This serves students very well in the classroom since failure is a regular part of learning. No one will be perfect at everything, every time. When a student is able to view mistakes as opportunities, he is more willing to try again and less likely to be discouraged.

Eagerness to Try New Things

In addition to healthy responses to failure, a child with a growth mindset is typically more willing to try unfamiliar things. Often, a fixed mindset will make a child afraid to try something new because it might bring failure or difficulty. However, a child with a growth mindset sees failure and struggle as part of an important learning process. For this reason, she is eager to attempt new things, with the hope of improving through hard work and perseverance.

Development of Persistence

When the going gets tough, it isn’t unusual for kids (or even adults) to want to quit. A growth mindset shifts a child’s relationship with their struggles, encouraging the child to see difficulty as a chance to overcome obstacles. Instead of quitting, the child presses into the problem and works hard to overcome it. Even if the outcome isn’t what she hoped, the child feels strong and capable because she persisted.

Valuing Learning Over Performance

In a world that is very focused on performance, children often get overwhelmed when they can’t do things immediately. In reality, it takes months or even years to learn many skills that children long to master. By learning to embrace the process of learning, rather than just the mastery itself, a child gains the ability to be patient with himself and give himself time. Rather than comparing himself to his peers, he is proud of his progress and knows he will reach his goals in time.

Tools to Encourage a Growth Mindset

Encouraging a growth mindset often requires adults to shift their perspective. One very powerful word is the word “yet”. When your child or student is upset because they can’t accomplish a task, encourage them to add the word “yet” to their description. This one little word is very empowering and helps the child acknowledge that while they may not be able to ride a bike yet, if they work hard, someday they will.

Remember also, while a growth mindset is centered on effort, it is the effort that is productive, bringing learning and accomplishment. Highlight when a child’s effort leads to growth and learning. For example, “You fell off your bike, but you didn’t stop trying. When you got on it again, you went even further!” By praising not only effort but also the clear benefits it brings, you show children that growth is both possible and likely. This is also true as you help a child look for opportunities in failure. Acknowledge that a child is struggling, and then ask open-ended questions about what they did well, what they can improve, and what they plan to do next. Often, when children are given the opportunity, they persist and succeed with very little input from others.

Growth Mindset in Our Classrooms

A growth mindset is a key to success throughout life. A child with a growth mindset will grow to be an adult who is brave, resilient, and persistent. At the same time, these children are also often kind, accepting, and non-judgmental towards their peers. A growth mindset brings countless benefits to the classroom, as well as to the rest of a student’s life. If you are looking for an early education center that emphasizes these values, please take the time to visit Legacy Academy Flynn Crossing. We work hard to help children realize their full potential.