Becoming your own “Little Engine that Could” - K5Counselors

Becoming your own “Little Engine that Could”

    Growth Mindset: What is it and how can you embrace it?


    Growth Mindset

    Has your school adopted growth mindset as a building philosophy? Have you been through training? Do you still have questions? What is your responsibility in helping your school adopt it? 

    Carol Dweck developed the idea of a Growth Mindset for students. Her concept is that students believe they can grow their talents through hard work, trying multiple strategies, and practice.

    Growth Mindset Beliefs

    Students who believe their talents can be developed through hard work, improved strategies, and collaboration with others have a growth mindset.

    A growth mindset can be developed through practice. Students who develop a growth mindset, research shows, achieve more.

    With a growth mindset, student worry less about looking smart, and they put more energy into learning and achieving.

    More Than a Positive Attitude

    Students cannot grow academically simply by a positive attitude and by teachers praising and rewarding their effort. Outcomes and data still matter.

    Unproductive effort is not going to help the child grow academically. Teachers can acknowledge effort, but accountability of learning and progress is key.

    If progress cannot be documented, the child must consult with others and develop a plan to work toward short and long-term goals.

    Setbacks can be expected, but the individual must continue with new strategies building on what did not work.

    Einstein’s Quote

    “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    School Growth

    It’s hard work, but students and schools can gain much by deepening their understanding of growth-mindset concepts and the processes for putting them into practice. It gives them a richer sense of who they are, and moves them forward toward growth for the school.

    How does your campus embrace a growth mindset? Watch our website for free lessons that embrace a growth mindset as early as kindergarten.

    Three Take-Aways

    Talents can be developed through hard work.

    With a growth  mindset, students worry less about looking smart and focus on learning from mistakes.

    Students with a growth mindset achieve more.


    What can school counselors do to help students develop a growth mindset?

    Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

    About the Author Linda Kirby, MS, MEd

    An educator for 30+ years. Counselor in elementary & middle school, special education, and crisis. Teacher in K-5, special education, ESL, and gifted. School 504 and testing coordinator. Common Core trainer. Master's degrees in Counseling and Educational Administration. Bachelor’s degrees in Elementary and Special Education.

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