Inspiring Educators Who Inspire Future Leaders

Classroom Strategies to Foster a Growth Mindset


Like so many educators, each year I search for new and creative ways to inspire, motivate, and challenge my students. What I have discovered during the course of my career is that no matter how creative I am, students must believe they can and will succeed within the classroom otherwise all of that planning becomes meaningless. The belief that students can and will learn is directly connected to their growth mindset. Why is it important to foster a growth mindset within the classroom? English and Social Studies teacher, Larry Ferlazzo, believes “students who believe they can grow their basic abilities have greater motivation and higher achievement than do students who believe their abilities are fixed.” Like Ferlazzo, I also believe a fixed mindset prevents students from maximizing their learning potential; thus, I believe it is essential to help students develop a growth mindset. How does one go about fostering “a growth mindset environment in the classroom?” Larry Ferlazzo suggests several ways to foster a “growth mindset environment” for students inside the classroom:

  • When setting high standards for your students, don’t forget to also “establish high expectations.” It is important that when challenging students, we also let them know “we believe they have the ability to meet our expectations.”
  • When developing a growth mindset environment for students, make sure it is a “risk-tolerant learning zone.” Students perform better when they feel safe. A safe learning environment where failure is seen as a natural part of the learning process can help students “actively seek challenges without worry about performance.”
  • When assessing student performance, give feedback that focuses on process.” Like Ferlazzo, I believe it is important to “avoid praising children for their “smartness,” and instead help them understand the importance of their own actions in achieving success.”
  • Help students understand “the concept of the malleable mind.” Empowering students to be active participants in their learning is important. The first step to helping students understand their own learning potential is to help them understand how they learn and why they learn the way they do

Check out Larry Ferlazzo’s blog post to learn more. tlb






About principalaim

Head of Lower School & Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Louisville Collegiate School

3 comments on “Classroom Strategies to Foster a Growth Mindset

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This entry was posted on September 13, 2014 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .
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