A lot has been said of developing a growth mindset. Carol Dweck is a great person to start with if you are unfamiliar with this term. Essentially, it means that:
people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. – Carol Dweck
The Khan Academy have jumped with this idea and are incorporating one simple step within their already fabulous program that has led to a 5% increase in problems attempted, proficiencies earned, and return visits to the site. What is this step? One simple line of text added to a page with a math problem on it:
Research indicates that our brains have a high degree of plasticity and as teachers, we should take every chance we can to tap into that.
What could this look like in your classroom?
I have followed the Khan Academy example and added a growth mindset quote to any printed work I hand out to kids.
I know this is only one small step, but hey, if it is good enough for Sal Khan…
What else can we do? Everything from framing your questions, giving kids more information about HOW and WHY we are doing what we are doing, and framing your classroom with statements for the development of a growth mindset such as these examples from MindSetWorks