John Dewey cultivates a “Growth Mindset” in its students

The faculty at John Dewey Academy is committed to life long learning. Recently, as part of our professional development series we held an all-staff workshop and retreat on developing a “Growth Mindset.” It’s long been believed that creativity, intelligence and personality are “fixed traits,” but the “Growth Mindset” demonstrates that these qualities can be cultivated through effort.

Here are 20 techniques that John Dewey has been applying to create a Growth Mindset among our students and in our community.

Try these in your own life and see their impact for yourself:

  1. Acknowledge and embrace imperfections.
  2. View challenges as opportunities.
  3. Try different learning tactics.
  4. Follow the research on brain plasticity.
  5. Replace the word “failing” with the word “learning.”
  6. Stop seeking approval.
  7. Value the process over the end result.
  8. Cultivate a sense of purpose.
  9. Celebrate growth with others.
  10. Emphasize growth over speed.
  11. Reward actions, not traits.
  12. Redefine “genius” genius requires hard work.
  13. Portray criticism as positive.
  14. Disassociate improvement from failure.
  15. Provide regular opportunities for reflection.
  16. Place effort before talent.
  17. Highlight the relationship between learning and “brain training.”
  18. Cultivate grit.
  19. Abandon the image.
  20. Use the word “yet.” When you struggle you haven’t failed just have not mastered it YET.

Source: Sara Briggs, InformED: “25 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset”

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