The teacher's mindset

Is instilling a growth mindset in students enough to allow them to experience the benefits of growth mindsets? Or is the mindset of the teacher also important? A new study sheds light on this issue. 

Growth mindset is related to grades

A growth mindset is the belief that intellectual capacities can be developed. A fixed mindset is the belief that intellectual capacities cannot or can hardly be developed. 

A fixed mindset encourages students to focus primarily on appearing smart, avoid challenges and give up quickly when faced with adversity. A growth mindset encourages students to focus primarily on learning, seeking challenges and persevering in the face of adversity. 

Many studies have previously shown that a growth mindset correlates with academic achievement. 

When growth mindset interventions work 

Growth mindset interventions work when applied effectively, targeting learners who are vulnerable, and in a context that is supportive (read more). These findings include the large-scale National Study of Learning Mindsets (NSLM), which examined a short-term growth mindset intervention during the first year of high school. 

How important is the teacher's mindset? 

A new paper by Yeager et al. (2021) explored the extent to which students implement their growth mindset independently in virtually every classroom culture, or the need for students' growth mindsets to be supported by their teacher's own growth mindset. 

Their current analysis (N = 9,167) pointed to the latter. The teacher's growth mindset is necessary to maintain the effects of a growth mindset in students. It is only when teachers themselves have a growth mindset that student growth mindsets can take root and blossom.