Halstrom Blog Post

How Having a Growth Mindset Can Help Students Achieve More

How Having a Growth Mindset Can Help Students Achieve More

Do you believe that everyone is born with a fixed level of intelligence? Or do you think we can become smarter with practice? Your answer indicates whether you have a "fixed" or "growth" mindset. Even though you may have never heard of a growth mindset, this powerful idea is changing the way educators encourage students to achieve more.

In brief, a fixed mindset means believing that intelligence is a trait that people are born with and cannot change. Having a fixed mindset means caring more about "looking smart" than actually learning. Students who have fixed mindsets tend to:

  • • ask few questions
  • • avoid challenges
  • • give up quickly
  • • achieve less in their education

On the other hand, having a growth mindset means believing that intelligence can be built and developed, like a muscle. Students who have growth mindsets tend to:

  • • ask lots of questions
  • • enjoy challenges
  • • work harder
  • • achieve more in their education

So how does a growth mindset lead to higher educational outcomes? One study has indicated that people with growth mindsets are more active in their learning. For example, a student who has a growth mindset will listen carefully to her teacher's explanation of a problem even if she got the answer right. She will see the explanation as an opportunity to learn even more.

Having a growth mindset is also correlated with perseverance. Students who have growth mindsets see challenges as important learning opportunities. They take more advanced classes than their fixed-mindset peers and earn higher grades overall. On the other hand, students who have fixed mindsets avoid challenges. They believe that if they struggle in school it is because they are "not smart enough."

So clearly a growth mindset is an important factor in doing well in school. But what if your mindset is currently fixed? The best thing about a growth mindset is that anyone can achieve it. Now that you're aware of your fixed mindset, you can start fostering a growth mindset instead. For example, the next time you're feeling frustrated with an intellectual task, remember:

  • • you can build and strengthen your intelligence
  • • anyone can learn the difficult material with time and effort
  • • the task will get easier as you practice
  • • everyone is "smart enough"

At Halstrom Academy, we embrace a growth mindset. This growth mindset, paired with 1:1 instruction and individualized attention, allows us to develop the unique potential of every student. If you would like to learn how we can help you succeed, contact us. Ultimately, we don't want our students to just "look smart." We empower them to believe they can achieve more.