This page contains resources for the Quality Enhancement Plan. Check back often as resources are added regularly.
A Conversation with Dr. Carol Dweck and Dr. Nido Qubein
The president of High Point University and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Dr. Carol Dweck discuss growth mindset and learning how to fulfill one’s potential.
How to Cultivate a Growth Mindset in Your Classroom
The “BrainSMART Big Five” approach includes five key factors for teachers and students to consider that can create a powerful synergy for improving engagement, motivation, and learning.
6-Year-Old Girls Already Have Gendered Beliefs About Intelligence
At an age when girls tend to outperform boys at school, and when children in general show large positive biases towards their own in-groups, the girls became less likely than boys to attribute brilliance to their own gender.
How to Become Great at Just About Anything
What if the thing we call “talent” is grotesquely overrated? And what if deliberate practice is the secret to excellence? Those are the claims of the research psychologist Anders Ericsson, who has been studying the science of expertise for decades. He tells us everything he’s learned.
The Learning Myth: Why I’ll Never Tell My Son He’s Smart
Between the deep body of research on the field of learning mindsets and this personal experience with my son, I am more convinced than ever that mindsets toward learning could matter more than anything else we teach.
Why a ‘Growth Mindset’ Won’t Work
What if our actions in school contribute to the reason why a growth mindset has a low effect size?
How People Learn to Become Resilient
A recent article in New Yorker on what makes for resilience. Teaching a “locus of control” (framing what is potentially traumatic into opportunity for personal growth) is what seems to be key. It’s catching on… #growthmindset
High School Teachers vs. College Professors
Scott Davis sent a chart that compares high school teachers to college professors. It’s a nice summary for incoming students to help them understand what to expect from their professors, and how students should reconsider their ways of learning.
This Psychology Today article applies growth mindset to romantic relationships, particularly the inevitable break-up stage. Consider sharing with your students when talking about how growth mindset affects us outside of our academic endeavors.
This Education Week article argues that we should approach mindsets less as a binary, and more as a spectrum of ideas about intelligence and abilities
This brief HuffingtonPost.com post has a nice message for students worth sharing in your classes. We frequently hear students compare themselves with others, saying something to the effect of “It’s not fair that this topic comes so easy for so-and-so, but I have to struggle with it.” Jason Olsen reminds them that so-and-sos aptitude may not necessarily come “naturally,” but from passionate work: “Because something comes easy to someone does not mean it didn’t require dedication and practice; it usually means that their passion for the subject is so high and so intense that practicing to get better at it becomes a subconscious act.”
We spend a lot of time and energy reviewing student work, and yet we know the students may fixate more on the grade than our comments. This article offers a nice strategy on how to compose better comments, help students focus less on the grade, and promote a growth mindset.
Your Credit Score and Growth Mindset
Martin Kifer shared this video. Experian, the credit score service, produced a commercial this year that does a remarkable job promoting growth mindset. It’s worth reviewing and sharing with your students.
How To Teach Children that Failure is the Secret to Success, and The Importance of a Growth Mindset in Turnaround Teachers
These two articles cover how students internalize perceptions of failure from their parents and teachers. The NPR News story covers research that suggests parents’ perceptions of failure are passed on to their children. The Illuminate Ed post credits growth mindset-thinking in “Turnaround Teachers” in inspiring students to do better.
“The Mindset That Leads People to be Dangerously Overconfident”
This article from the Harvard Business Review argues that people who suffer from overconfidence (it cites Trump, Berlusconi, and “Pharma Bro” Shkreli as examples) tend to reflect fixed mindsets. Heidi Grant Alverson writes, “People who believe that ability is immutable are more likely to avoid difficulty, to withdraw effort in the face of setbacks, and to react defensively when challenged. They are more likely to rush to judgment and think stereotypically, are more vengeful after a conflict, and are more punitive toward transgressors.” She encourages readers not to mistake overconfidence for competence.
“People Won’t Grow if You Think They Can’t Change”
This article reminds us that if we treat our students as if they are unable to grow, they will not grow. We have to believe that all of our students are truly capable of learning more before we can effectively help them grow.
“Grade Inflation Eats Away at the Meaning of College”
Douglas Hall shared this article about how students are, on average, receiving higher grades for lower-quality work. Remember: in order for growth mindset interventions to work, we cannot compromise the quality of work we expect from our students.
“Stop Telling Kids You’re Bad At Math. You’re Spreading Math Anxiety ‘Like a Virus’”
This article covers how children internalize the math anxiety of their parents. It’s a nice reminder that growth mindset cannot merely be taught to students through intentional interventions. Rather, we have to also model growth mindset.
“Dana Kelley Plays the Viola. Her Practice Advice is Simple: Learn How to Do It the Right Way”
One of the principles of growth mindset is understanding that hard work alone will not generate success. If we tell students, “You just need to work harder,” we could be sending them a fixed mindset message: if they work harder and still see no progress, they can believe their abilities are naturally fixed. Instead, we need to teach students the methods for improving. We must demonstrate that some strategies are more effective than others in increasing our intelligence.
Violist Dana Kelley tells her students that it is important to learn how to practice the “right” way. “A lot of people get stuck practicing for hours and hours and hours and not finding success,” she says. “It’s because there’s a mismatch between the number of hours spent in the room and results. Unless you analyze what you’re doing in the moment and understand why something may or may not be working for you, you’re never going to improve.”
“Amy Pressman of Medallia: Bored by ‘Yes,’ Inspired by ‘No’”
In this interview, the co-founder and president of Medallia, Amy Pressman, talks about how she sees success as a journey, and why entrepreneurs should embrace their shortcomings as opportunities to learn and grow.
“The Rise of the ‘Gentleman’s A’ and the GPA Arms Race”
According to professors at Duke and Furman, the most-frequently awarded grade in college is an A. This is true at Ivy League schools, community colleges, state universities, private colleges, and everywhere in between. Catherine Rampell’s column should remind professors that teaching growth mindset means resisting grade inflation. We must privilege honest and fair assessments that show students how they can grow over simple, meaningless A-grades that do not reflect truly superior work.
“Without collective action — which means both standing up to students and publicly shaming other schools into adopting higher standards — the [GPA] arms race will continue.”
“How to Make Sure Your Kids Have Grit”
A nice, accessible summary of growth mindset, plus tips for modelling growth.
“How Games Can Create a Growth Mindset”
This article, shared by Brian Heagney of the School of Communication, addresses how students can develop growth mindsets by incorporating games in their learning. Mary Wissinger writes that “students can learn how to laugh off a bad turn and later cheer on their peers. When the time comes, they will know how to shake off a low grade, re-focus on their learning, and help others do the same.”
“Feats of Memory Anyone Can Do”
Matthew Brophy shares this TED Talk in which Joshua Foer tells how he won the U.S. Memory Championship. Foer not only shares his techniques: he also says the skill can be learned by anyone who is willing to practice. No one is born a natural memory champion; you must first have a mindset that says you can improve your memory.
“Recognizing and Overcoming False Growth Mindset”
This article addresses the “false growth mindsets” of many educators, people who say and do things they believe promote growth mindsets but actually promote fixed mindsets. It warns us not to naively believe that a growth mindset means “praising effort alone,” or “telling students ‘You can do anything,'” but to instead focus on giving “meaningful work,” and “honest & helpful feedback.”
What Having a “Growth Mindset” Actually Means
In this article, Carol Dweck addresses some common misconceptions about what it means to have a “Growth Mindset.” It’s not merely about praising effort, she writes, or setting goals–even people with fixed mindsets do this. She also notes that growth mindset is also not a permanent character trait or condition. Rather, Dweck reminds us that it takes intentional effort to develop and maintain growth mindsets.