Growth Mindset, Revisited

Carol Dweck, author of “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success," is one of the foremost scholars on the subject of motivation and why people do or don't succeed. Her research on growth mindsets and the practices to foster them in schools has been influential among K-12 leaders and educators.


  1. Carol Dweck, the Lewis and Virginia Eaton professor of psychology at Stanford University, and author of "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success," led a keynote discussion on how growth mindset practices can work in the classroom, and throughout school systems, to help support educational success at this year's Education Week Leaders To Learn From live event.
  2. "A growth mindset is the belief that you can develop your abilities through hard work; good strategies; and input, help, and mentoring from others."
  3. —Carol Dweck
  4. Watch her full presentation from the Leaders To Learn From 2016 live event below:
  5. The Journey to a Growth Mindset: Carol Dweck's Live Keynote Presentation
  6. Keep the conversation going:

  7. "Students are conditioned to have a fixed mindset, and it's due to us," wrote author, presenter, and former K-5 public school principal Peter DeWitt for Education Week in July.

    "Talking about the growth mindset is not good enough," DeWitt writes. "Our actions are where the rubber hits the road. If we believe the growth mindset is important, and believe that it should have a higher effect size, then we need to follow up with the actions to make it happen."

  8. Read DeWitt's full explanation as to why teachers need comprehensive growth-centered thinking for themselves before they can go on to implement new programs in their classrooms, here:
  9. When asked what keeps her up at night, Dweck says it's the fear that the mindset concepts, which grew up to counter the failed self-esteem movement, will be used to perpetuate that movement in much the same way that DeWitt describes.

    "The growth mindset was intended to help close achievement gaps, not hide them. It is about telling the truth about a student’s current achievement and then, together, doing something about it, helping him or her become smarter."
  10. —Carol Dweck
  11. "Must it always come back to finding a reason why some children just can’t learn, as opposed to finding a way to help them learn? Teachers who understand the growth mindset do everything in their power to unlock that learning."

  12. —Carol Dweck
  13. Read Dweck's full rebuttal to DeWitt's article:
  14. Read some of the public responses to Dweck's ideas in Education Week from educators and parents on Twitter:

  15. Growth-mindset research can dovetail with the work district leaders do in their schools every day.

  16. Dweck addresses how school or district leaders and their teams of educators can:
    • Motivate students to reach their highest academic potential
    • Explore new strategies for improving student achievement and success
    • Help teachers enhance their ability to inspire students

    Read the full letter, explaining her keynote: