More about Growth Mindset

I recently came across two books that gave me a new perspective of how I think personally & professionally. The first was called Mindset by Carol Dweck and the other book was titled Mindset in the Classroom by Mary Cay Ricci.  I was really inspired by the simple teachings of how changing your thoughts can help you succeed in anything you do. In a nutshell, it is all about persistence, perseverance, resilience, optimism & hard work…in other words Grit. It made me reflect on what I say as an educator/leader and what I say in the classroom. I am sure that this information would have been useful when I was at school. In Assemblies we have discussed how our brain is a muscle that grows stronger when we do things that are not easy, we learn something new and we learn from our mistakes. When we give up because we can’t get it right or when we say we are not as smart as someone else, we have a fixed mindset. Dr. Dweck realized that there are two mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong. In a growth mindset, 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.

Virtually all people who achieve top performance have these qualities. Research shows that people with this view reach higher levels of success than people with fixed mindset beliefs. Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports. It enhances relationships, and increases achievement. 

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset



*Feels threatened by the success of others  

*Finds lessons & inspiration in the success of others


*Looks at bigger picture & sees solutions

*Ignores useful feedback

*Learns from feedback & constructive criticism

*Sees effort as fruitless or worthless

*Sees effort as the path to mastery

*Gives up easily

*Persists in the face of setbacks

*Avoids challenges

*Embraces challenge

*Desire to look smart  

*Desire to learn

*Ignores situation/Looks for distraction

*Takes responsibility for learning


Tips on what we can say to our kids to encourage a Growth Mindset aka The Praise Makeover



“Great Job!”

“I liked the way you kept trying when the problems got harder.”

“I’m proud of you!”

“You went back to check your work–that extra step was a great idea.”

“You got an B!”

“The extra practice you did made a difference!”

“You’re so smart!”

“You understood the key ideas and studied hard for this test!”


PRAISE: strategies, choices, struggle, choosing difficult tasks, improvement, learning from mistakes

A Riddell



2023 Term Dates