- Students who feel pressure to succeed may find the idea of a growth mindset uncomfortable and the possibility of failure frightening, Edutopia reports, citing a piece by Michael Bycraft, head of design and innovation for grades 6-12 at the Korea International School in South Korea.
- To help students adopt this way of thinking, Bycraft started to structure lessons that encouraged more creative results and gave students time to work through mistakes so they could fix, solve and retry challenges they had undertaken.
- To prove his method was working, students tracked their projects and the results on websites they created, where they talked about their progress as well as their feelings about their work. Teachers, administrators and parents also could view students' learning paths and see their progress, which Bycraft said created buy-in.
There’s evidence that students who develop a growth mindset can boost their learning. Recovering from failure — and learning how to see the benefit of that attitude — can have a positive impact on a student's academics, a 2019 study from Nature found. After working with more than 12,000 high school freshmen, researchers reported that lower-achieving pupils who adopted a growth mindset saw their grades improve.
Scores from the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) also reflected the benefit of having a growth mindset among U.S. students.
While that information may run counter to previous research indicating growth mindset efforts have little effect on achievement, a 2018 study from the Stanford Graduate School of Education found developing a growth mindset in teachers was beneficial. That research tracked a program that de-emphasized memorization of math facts in favor of an inquiry-based model that encourages collaboration on problems with multiple ways to solve them.
The University of Arizona offers a number of suggestions to help schools teach growth mindset. Even simply adding the word "yet" when talking with students can be helpful, reminding children that while they may not understand something now, there is the opportunity to eventually grasp that detail or subject.