What is Growth Mindset in Education?
Have you ever attempted to work with a student who will not consider, not even for a second consider, doing something that you are absolutely positive they can do? Well, that is a fixed mindset which is the opposite of a growth mindset. In the transformative nature of being able to change that no to a yes, is the evidence of the connection between a growth mindset and classroom management.
In class one day I was introducing my students to mealworms, and the transformations they would occur while they were in our classroom. As I called up each small group to look at them I could see that one sweet, sweet student that wore her heart on her sleeve was not at all comfortable.
Just a Wee Bitty of a Nudge ….
I let her hang back, and then I gave her an opportunity to come up more quietly on her own. She was still quite freaked out. Despite my complete respect for her discomfort, I knew that we were also going to observe the entire process of metamorphosis over the next few weeks. I wanted to give her one more gentle nudge.
I dismissed the group to their desks and to quietly discuss with each other their thoughts on the mealworms. Knowing we had developed a close relationship, and with everyone else distracted, I asked her if she wanted to try one more time just the two of us.
I showed her the lid on the container was locked, and I promised to hold the container on my lap with two hands so it couldn’t open or fall, but there was no way.
I let her know that if at any point in the next weeks she chose to change her mind I would sit with her, and we could look at them together.
It never happened.
But There’s Hope! 🎉
That is just one example of the ways that a beautiful child shut herself down. I acknowledge that there may have been an actual prior trauma that may have made that an impossible task for her, but I also know that in other situations she was held back simply by a fixed mindset.
The good news is that I had the privilege of keeping my students for two years, and over those two years I saw her really grow in her confidence as I continued to implement strategies for developing a growth mindset. This increased her on-task behaviour, learning, relationships with peers, confidence, and even her sense of humour.
How’s that for classroom management made easy? 😉
10 Reasons Why is Growth Mindset Important for Students
1. Enhanced Student Engagement Leads to Less Classroom Management
Students become more engaged in the learning process. Feeling valued, motivated, respected and empowered they take more ownership of their education.
2. Improved Behaviour Means Less Classroom Management
Classroom climate becomes a happy place to be, and, as a result, the classroom becomes a more respectful cooperative community. Communication improves, conflict resolution becomes easier, and the children become more empathetic towards each other.
3. Growth Mindset and Learning
Feeling supported and motivated means better academic achievement. Growth management strategies focus more on individualized learning, constructive feedback, and students setting realistic personal goals which all lead to better students doing better.
4. Students Actually Develop a Growth Mindset of Their Own
As children see their academic ability improve through effort and practice, they develop their own growth mindset. Over time this enables them to persevere through challenges and pursue ongoing improvement.
5. Build Positive Classroom Management Structures as Your Student-Teacher Relationships Improve
One of the top behaviour management strategies is about building the student-teacher relationship, so the connection with implementing a growth mindset effecting classroom management is evident. As students grow in their ability to trust, demonstrate respect, communicate openly, and create a more supportive and nurturing environment, they are going to appreciate the leader of their environment more.
6. A Reduction in Disruptive Behaviour Leads to a Reduction in Consequences.
Growth management strategies include a more proactive approach to behavioiur rather than a reactive approach to behaviour. By being proactive you will be dealing with any underlying issues before they arise.
7. Students Become More Self-Aware and Manage Themselves
A part of teaching a growth mindset is Social Emotional Instruction (SEL). This leads to greater self-awareness. They are able to determine learning preferences, and ask for help if and when they need it.
Thus begins the journey towards making ever more important choices about their own education.
8. Intrinsic Motivation Develops
This impact is one of my personal favourites! I love giving my kiddos treats, parties and special surprises. However, please, oh please, do not asking me to implement a classroom reward system.
Students develop a genuine love for learning, and they become more self-directed. They are more motivated to be responsible for their own academic performance.
9. Growth Mindset Classroom Activities Build Classroom Management
Growth Mindset strategies means a lot of working together time. Students work together a lot, share more ideas, and learn from each other. These are all essential skills for the real world.
10. Becoming a Life Long Learner!
All of these benefits positively impact the students while they are in your class, and for years to come. Still, as a lifelong learner myself, this last benefit excites me. Your students become adaptable, resilient, and confident. They develop skills and attitudes to handle challenge and meet goals far beyond your classroom walls.
Growth Mindset and Classroom Management
The assets that are created through the development of a growth mindset typically have a positive impact on classroom management. Your classroom becomes a community, a place of hope, growth, healing, purpose, excitement, and relationship.
Anyone can start implementing growth mindset strategies tomorrow, and the class will benefit and grow from them starting tomorrow.
You don’t even have to implement all of the strategies for your students to start benefiting right away. Implementing strategies step-by-step will help you to keep your sense of overwhelm at bay.
Incorporating growth mindset strategies is an ongoing process. Be patient with your students and yourself..
How to Implement a Growth Mindset to Improve Classroom Management
The first place to implement a growth mindset is within yourself. If you don’t believe in it you won’t do the work of implementing for the students. So here are a few quick tips for getting started:
- Believe in your students, and this becomes your superpower!
- Focus on personal learning goals and effort rather than just the marks.
- Teach your students that mistakes are a part of learning. They are just opportunities for growth and improvement. Become comfortable with making mistakes yourself.
- Give your student lots of opportunities to work and play together. Expect appropriate behaviour from them while they are working together.
- Teach and affirm self-regulation skills so they become persevering, resilient problem solvers.
- Model a growth mindset yourself. This supports a classroom climate in which everyone feels safe to take risks, learn from mistakes, and actively participate.
Embracing a growth mindset isn’t just about helping your students. If a growth mindset is doing those amazing things for your students, it is doing them for you too.
Let your own growth mindset shine, and watch the magic happen with your classroom management!
Share comments or questions down below! What is one way that you have developed a growth mindset in your classroom?
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