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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Carol Dweck’s work on growth mindsets is a seminal piece of work that I believe all teachers should know about and think about, in terms of the environments they set up in their classrooms for learning to occur. Knowing and believing that you can learn is an essential step in being successful. It prevents you from putting up barriers to learning and motivates you to try harder when learning gets tough. The opposite of growth mindset is fixed mindset, where the belief is that some children can learn and some cannot. If this was the case, why bother trying to make an effort to learn? With a fixed mindset, there are winners and losers.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds Losers give up, and winners panic about staying in that winning group. Instead, a growth mindset tells learners that it’s worth trying to understand and put time, energy, and effort into learning. This means that, in a growth-mindset scenario, a teacher’s role is in helping the learner find ways to improve, and differentiation becomes a vital part in setting up the right environment for this to happen.

The research around mindsets

Chris explains Carol Dweck’s seminal work on mindsets and links it to the ideas we have been discussing throughout the course around the learning climate a teacher establishes.

Now may also be a good time to return to and update your Reflection Grid. If you have any thoughts in particular that you would like to share around mindsets and how it links to effective differentiation please feel free to add them in the comments to this step.

If the work of Carol Dweck on mindsets is new to you we have provided links at the bottom of this page to a number of YouTube videos.

In the next step you will read an article by Carol Dweck where she revisits her research in the field of student motivation. This makes clear how a students’ mindset and self-belief can impact on their motivation and success in the classroom and why it is important for educators to adopt a deeper growth mindset too.

The images from video on this page are reproduced below and their sources provided as See Also links at the bottom of this step.

What Kind of Mindset Do You Have?

The Educator and the Growth Mindset

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This video is from the free online course:

Differentiating for Learning in STEM Teaching

National STEM Learning Centre