Halstrom Blog Post

How Parents and Teachers Can Promote a Growth Mindset

How Parents and Teachers Can Promote a Growth Mindset

“Growth mindset” is much more than an educational buzzword; it is a reference to the groundbreaking work of the award-winning Stanford University professor Carol Dweck. In the Harvard Business Review, Dweck sums up her research like this: Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset.

At Halstrom, our teachers encourage students to believe in their own ability to improve. Parents can also supplement the teacher’s efforts to develop a student’s growth mindset by providing additional support at home. There are two key ways we can instill a growth mindset. We need to teach kids how their brain works, and we need to use and encourage growth mindset language.

In order for students to adopt a growth mindset, students should first understand how their brains work. Essentially, we want them to know that their brain grows and changes. When we learn, we actually change our brain at a cellular level. There are several videos and resources available to help students further understand this concept. Carol Dweck's TED Talk is suitable for older or more mature audiences while You Can Learn Anything from Khan Academy and Your Brain is Plastic from Sci Show are shorter and more accessible for younger students.

The language we use in everyday life can also be extremely influential in the process of developing a student’s growth mindset. Most of us make "fixed-mindset" statements without even realizing it. Try to be aware of what you are saying and listen closely to what kids say about themselves. There are quite a few online resources to help you make this language shift, but we are providing a short list of growth mindset phrases to use instead of fixed mindset statements here.

  • Say: I can't do this yet. Not: I can't do this.
  • Say: This is going to take some time and effort. Not: I'll never get this!
  • Say: What am I missing? Where's my mistake? Not: This is too hard.
  • Say: What strategy can I try? Not: I give up.

  • Remember, moving from the old "fixed-mindset" view to a "growth mindset" view is a journey. This is going to take some time and effort for all of us and the teachers at Halstrom Academy will be with you every step of the way! Contact us