Skip Navigation



Growth Mindset

October 18, 2016
By Mrs. Colleen Carter

It is important for educators to help their students set goals for themselves and to achieve progress towards those goals.   One important thing that can come from goal setting is learning to have a Growth Mindset .  All too often when students feel as though they have not reached their goals, they feel they have failed.  This is NOT the case.

It is sad to hear a student say that they are bad at math or they do not read well.  When a student has a Fixed Mindset, they believe that basic qualities such as intelligence or even talent are fixed traits, and they tend to not develop those traits.

When a student has a Growth Mindset, they believe that their abilities can be developed through commitment and hard work. When students identify with a Growth Mindset, motivation and productivity increase greatly.  For example, just the other day, a student said “This is hard and I can’t do this.”  I suggested to change that thought with “This may take some time and effort.”

Helping students learn about Growth Mindsets can help them change their perspective and perhaps help remove any limiting beliefs they may have.

Dr. Carol Dweck is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation and is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.  Her research has focused on why people succeed and how to foster success.  In this video, she explains the difference between Fixed and Growth Mindsets.


Colleen Carter teaches 3rd grade and has been at STMM for 4 years.   She has worked in Elementary Education for 13 years.  She has her BS and MS in Elementary Education.