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From Theory to Practice - Issue #2, June 2011

The Growth Mindset Newsletter

The summer is finally here! It’s a wonderful time to relax, enjoy deserved time off and more importantly, celebrate our accomplishments of the past year.

Having a growth mindset means putting effort into changing and improving, but as Carol Dweck reminds us, it’s also important to recognize growth and celebrate progress. Don’t take growth for granted!

It's a good time to reflect on the areas in which you grew personally and professionally and to think about what you would like to learn and where you would like to grow next.

Till next time, we wish you a very happy summer.

The Mindset Works Team


News: Lisa Blackwell on New Tools to Cultivate a Growth Mindset School Community

Mindset in Action: Lorraine Davies' experience and tips

Contest Results: Announcing the Growth Minded Educator

Next Contest


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Growth Mindset News and Tips

Not Just for Kids! Mindset Works Creating New Tools to Cultivate a Growth Mindset School Community

What would it be like if your school were a true “Growth Mindset Community”?

Administrators would support teachers’ learning, rather than just trying to weed out the “bad apples.” They would be responsive to honest feedback, rather than defensive. They would seek to build their skills, and be willing to learn from their teachers.

Teachers would collaborate with their colleagues and instructional leaders, rather than shutting their classroom doors and flying solo. They would strive to strengthen their own practice, rather than blaming others. They would truly believe that all their students can learn and succeed—and show it.

Parents would support their children’s learning both inside and outside the classroom. They would be partners with teachers, and responsive to outreach. They would worry less about advocating for their children to get good grades, and focus more on making sure they were being challenged and putting in the effort needed to grow.

And your students would be enthusiastic, hard-working, persistent learners—and never lose their homework! (Okay, maybe not that last part!)

One of the many lessons that we have learned from the wonderful growth-minded teachers we’ve been lucky to work with over the past decade is that teaching students a growth mindset is essential—but support in the classroom and school community is also vital to ensuring that all students are able to realize the full benefit of a growth mindset. So we have embarked on a new project to develop a set of resources to support schools in transforming their culture—the Growth Mindset Learning Platform.


Mindset in Action

Lorraine Davies, from Mindset Mastery, AU, on her experience applying Mindset theory:

“As Gandhi said, “My commitment is to truth, not consistency.” In the Mindset theory, I have found the most crucial component of learning.”

Tell us a bit about who you are, where you teach and what you do:
I have always seen children as innately democratic, empathetic and curious creatures, with these qualities being what drives them to seek answers and motivates them to learn. Therefore, it was pleasing to read literature confirming that the brain is actually hardwired for empathy and learning; in fact, our successful evolution has depended on it! With this in mind, I have questioned why it is that children who start out as eager and excited to begin school are, just a few years later, playing truant, acting out and ultimately are labeled as unmotivated, lazy or ‘not very clever’. What goes so badly wrong?

How did you become interested in the Growth Mindset?
Whether teaching in the UK or Australia, I had always found students to be predominantly disengaged, with low self-efficacy and accompanying attitudinal behaviors related to their own low self-esteem. I have come across teachers in the UK and Australia who spoke of their students as lazy, untrustworthy, lacking in ability and uninterested in school. In questioning why they should waste their time, it struck me that these teachers mirrored the same self-defeating attitudes of their students. In order to compensate, they would assign busy work or ‘dumb down’ the curriculum, which in turn exacerbated problem behaviors and caused these teachers to burn out even faster.

When I witnessed a disturbing incident that resulted in a young student undergoing emotional trauma at the hands of her teachers...


The Growth Minded Educator Contest

The Growth Minded Educator contest is our way of saying thank you and recognizing the efforts that educators have put into instilling and cultivating a Growth Mindset environment.

May 2011 contest results:

The May 2011 Growth Minded Educator is... Chandra Boon! Congratulations! Thank you everybody who participated. We received fantastic submissions, and will reach out to some of you to figure out ways to expose the other entries as well.

Here is what Chandra Boon answered to the contest question "How has the Growth Mindset impacted your teaching and your students?":

“I teach Grade 11 Physics to Grade 10s at Branksome Hall, a girls’ school in Toronto. I read the book Mindset and immediately started applying the principles to make it clear to my students that I believe in their ability to develop. However, I realized that it is not enough for me to have a growth mindset. I felt compelled to teach my Physics students the mindset principles in order to help them thrive in this challenging subject, and deal with the anxiety it can induce."


Enter the next Growth Minded Educator Contest

Get a chance to win an autographed copy of Carol Dweck''s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success!

Contest Question:
What techniques do you use so that your students or kids don’t lose ground over the summer?(suggested length: 150 words or less)

Email your answers to
by July 6th, 2011 11:59 PM [PST]. We’ll review each answer and announce the Growth Minded Educator in the following newsletter.

If you have any questions or feedback, email us at anytime to

Do you have something to say?

Write comments at the bottom of any of the articles, and if you have more to say, consider writing a guest blog/newsletter post. Email us at to let us know of your guest post idea.

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