October 07, 2018
25 Growth Mindset Principles for Fearless Learning
The importance of adopting growth mindset principles in today's learning can't be overstated. These 25 growth mindset principles come from an article written by Saga Briggs for InformED. In her article she cites the wisdom of Carol Dweck, the First Lady of growth mindset philosophy:
“This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments, everyone can change and grow through application and experience.”
A growth mindset is a way of thinking we must strive to gift all learners with in education. When we practice growth mindset principles, we see possibility instead of limitation. Failure becomes a valuable opportunity for learning, and the success of others inspires us rather than discourages us. This is the kind of philosophy that will prepare our learners to succeed beyond school.
We urge you to study and practice these 25 valuable growth mindset principles every day. After all, adopting a shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is our choice. In the end it’s the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and our learners.
Read Sara's full article 25 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset at InformED.
25 Growth Mindset Principles That Work
- Acknowledge and embrace imperfections. We all have them and they're part of what makes us unique and special.
- View challenges as opportunities. This is one of the most powerful growth mindset principles there is. Imagine how our world would be if we all consciously replaced the word "mistake" with the word "opportunity."
- Try different learning tactics. Mix it up a bit and approach a problem or challenge in a way that's fresh to you.
- Follow the research on brain plasticity. It's scientific proof that intelligence is not fixed.
- Replace the word “failing” with the word “learning.” Learning from our mistakes is how real growth happens.
- Stop seeking approval. Your pathway of learning is individual and unique, so you're going exactly where you're supposed to be.
- Value the process over the end result. It's in the journey that the meaningful learning experiences reside.
- Cultivate a sense of purpose. What drives you to learn? What makes you want to become a lifelong learner?
- Celebrate growth with others. We're all in this together.
- Emphasize growth over speed. This refers to the idea of how personalized learning lets us learn in our own place, and at our own pace.
- Reward actions, not traits. You won't always see greatness on the surface, but you'll see it in the effort put in.
- Redefine “genius.” Don't believe the "chosen few" myth—genius is inside all of us, and we express it in different ways.
- Portray criticism as positive. When we see feedback as showing us a different path to success, we can only get better.
- Disassociate improvement from failure. Saying there is room to improve doesn't mean what came before is no good.
- Provide regular opportunities for reflection. Growth mindset principles make plenty of room for debriefing learning.
- Place effort before talent. Refer back to number 11.
- Highlight the relationship between learning and “brain training.” As Saga says, "The brain is like a muscle that needs to be worked out, just like the body."
- Cultivate grit. Never, ever, EVER give up no matter how hard the road gets.
- Abandon the image. Put in the work and the rest will take care of itself.
- Use the word “yet.” In other words, growth mindset principles talk about possibility and potential. "I haven't got this quite yet, but I will!"
- Learn from other people’s mistakes. This isn't about comparing ourselves to others. It is, however, about realizing that all mistakes—not just ours—are ways we can learn.
- Make a new goal for every goal accomplished. Don't stop just because you reached your goal or achieved the desired result. What are the next steps that will drive you to even more growth and progress?
- Take risks in the company of others. Put aside your fear of looking "foolish" or "dumb" and take the chances that help you evolve as a learner.
- Think realistically about time and effort. Learning takes time and effort, so treat it as a life journey.
- Take ownership over your attitude. You're the only one who can think in your mind. In that case, always put your best forward.
More Growth Mindset Principles to Share
In addition to the above growth mindset principles, here's a popular resource your learners can benefit from. Enjoy our own free Growth Mindset Poster. It's a great way to introduce learners to the value of a growth mindset in and out of school. Get them discussing the ideas shared and see how many ways they can come up with for adopting their own growth mindset for life today.