Growth Mindset in Education

A growth mindset in education focuses on the idea that intelligence is not fixed. In this context the focus becomes the belief that your intelligence is not fixed and can change for the better over time. If you can change your intelligence, you become the one who is in control of your learning and your outcomes. You are not at the mercy of genetic forces beyond your control. The results of your education are entirely up to you.

For all those who have struggled in school, this should be exciting news. The very idea that your ability to learn can actually improve means you can learn how to learn more efficiently. Your ability to acquire specialized knowledge or skills is not something you have or you don’t. Furthermore, a growth mindset will have an impact on mental health issues such as anxiety and depression as well as social behavior.[1] Certainly, it would not be hard to understand that beliefs and strategies are two crucial areas for intervention.

[1] Walton, Gregory M., and Alia Crum. Handbook of Wise Interventions: How Social Psychology Can Help People Change. New York City, Guilford Press, 2021. 

If our concern goes beyond a growth mindset in education,

the fundamental belief becomes you can change.

Interventions to Help Create a Growth Mindset in Education

The foundational belief of a growth mindset in education is that your intelligence in not fixed. As I have repeatedly written on these pages, if we are concerned only with a growth mindset in education, then that is the foundational belief, but if we are concerned with the notion that your personality and behavior is can change then the higher level belief is that you can change. Your personality and behavior is not fixed. There are psychological processes that can change the basis of your personality and thus your behavior. Looking purely at the idea of changing your mindset around education simply narrows that focus. 

The bottom line is that students who receive growth mindset intervention tend to show greater academic performance relative to controls as measured by grades and achievement test scores.[1] When you understand that your beliefs impact your performance and the mental strategies you use impact your performance it should not be hard to see why changing those would change a persons grades and achievement test scores. You can extrapolate this to athletics, performing arts, or any job. Limiting beliefs limit performance while supporting beliefs support performance. Ineffective mental strategies lead to ineffective results while effective strategies lead to effective results. 

Let me give you a case study of a former student. This student came into my class part way through his sixth grade year. He exhibited some behavior challenges, poor grades, absenteeism, and struggled socially. Math was a particularly challenging area where he scored in the tenth percentile on a standardized test. There were numerous belief systems we had to begin to collapse and reframe while building new ones.

As Steve began to change some fundamental beliefs about who he was as a student and person his behavior and social relationships began to change. The last belief we tackled was his limiting beliefs about math. Because he also had more positive over-arching beliefs about his intelligence and ability to learn, his work ethic began to change. With those changes this student begin his 8th grade year finishing up the 5th grade math program he started as a 7th grade student. He proceeded to tackle and finish the 6th grade math program. In the end, he increased his math performance by nearly 2 grade levels in one year and went on that same nationally normed test from the 10 percentile (90 percent did better) to the 50 percentile or solidly average.

Not only did he improve his academics but his social behavior improved greatly as well. He got involved in track and field and became rather popular with the young ladies in school. He became in many regards a different person as his beliefs and attitudes toward school and people changed. All of this was done without being allowed to use the direct intervention tools that I use in my private practice because of state mandated rules and regulations around what is considered counseling and therapy versus coaching within a school setting.

[1] Walton, Gregory M., and Alia Crum. Handbook of Wise Interventions: How Social Psychology Can Help People Change. New York City, Guilford Press, 2021. 

The Personal Breakthrough and Creating a Growth Mindset in Education and Beyond 

Our unique personal breakthrough training applies HEAT to create the growth mindset in education or athletics or as I repeatedly write, a mindset of a champion that applies to any area of your life. The personal breakthrough training begins with getting you to analyze your time. How you spend your time says a great deal about what you value. You also need to reprioritize your time if you are going create new habits, emotions, attitudes around learning or just living life to its fullest.

Presumably, you would be interested in this course because you know you or a loved one has a fixed mindset or at least a fixed mindset in one aspect of their life like education or you know you further develop you growth mindset so you have it more consistently across all areas of your life, which will enable you to better accomplish your outcomes while improving relationships, reducing stress, and finding more joy in your life.

Once you have analyzed your time you need to make some changes to how you spend your time. This is where the challenge begins. Creating new habits around your routines is incredibly difficult for most people. In fact, according to the website, Happy Habits,

  • Of those who make a New Year’s resolution, after 1 week 75% are still successful in keeping it.
  • After two weeks, the number drops to 71%.
  • After 1 month, the number drops again to 64%.
  • And after 6 months, 46% of people who make a resolution are still successful in keeping it.
  • In comparison, of those people who have similar goals but do not set a resolution, only 4% are still successful after 6 months.

There are two key points to this data. One is simply the difficulty most people have in creating new habits even when they make a formal resolution. The last statistic is telling because many people who make a new year’s resolution only do so verbally to themselves or mention it casually to another. They do not truly make a resolution. The adjective resolute gives us an idea of what making a resolution means. Resolute means admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering. The idea then behind make a resolution is you are publicly announcing your goal of which you will be unwavering in your pursuit of accomplishing it. Unfortunately, most people don’t go to that extent even on something they know will provide a great return on their investment of time and energy.

Our breakthrough training will lead you through looking at your self-identity so you can find limiting decisions you have made. It will help you look at how you perceive the world and any limiting beliefs about how things operate in the real world. It will help you discover any negative emotions you may have unresolved in your past that could be holding you back. It will especially look at the crippling emotion of fear. You will look at how your internal strategies work particularly for things like motivation and decision making. When all that is done you will be guided through the breakthrough process.

You will be guided through several techniques for changing beliefs, resolve any negative emotions you are still holding onto, build into your life rituals for managing emotions and interrupting negative strategies or patterns and installing new ones. You will be given a tool box with power tools and the directions on how to use them. It will be up to you to use them and develop that skill in using them.

The breakthrough course does not seek to build a growth mindset in education. It does not seek to build a growth mindset at all. It is designed to excavate the ground so you build the growth mindset in education or the mindset of a champion by properly laying a foundation and then building the rest of the structure – which we refer to as the mindset of a champion arch.

Check out these other pages

Empowering Students

Growth Mindset in Classrooms

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