"The distinguishing feature of geniuses is their passion and dedication to their craft, and particularly, the way in which they identify, confront and take pains to remedy their weaknesses." Good, Rattan and Dweck, 2008
Adopting a growth mindset isn't exclusively beneficial to pupils. Teachers also stand to gain a great deal, especially when it comes to their approach to professional development. You could even argue that it's the key to improving any teachers performance.
Why is a growth mindset key to successful CPD?
It's because teachers need a 'can do' attitude.
Professional development should be approached with the same attributes of a growth mindset, with hard work, a focus on improving and embracing failing as a chance to learn.
If so, you're far more likely to improve than if you see professional learning as an obstacle, something to fear and avoid it.
In order to grow professionally, it's essential to develop this way of thinking.
Steps to developing a growth mindset:
Carol Dweck suggests two steps to help you make sure you're thinking with a growth mindset:
Your internal dialogue greatly impacts how you think about the world around you. If you constantly tell yourself you should protect yourself in case you fail, or that something would be simple if only you had the natural talent, then you know that’s the fixed mindset talking.
You must acknowledge that you have a choice. You can read about the benefits of a growth mindset all day long, but until you actually put them into action you haven’t changed at all. Dweck recommends ‘talking back’ to your fixed mindset with your growth mindset voice to further solidify your new ways of thinking and retrain your brain.
Tips for thinking with a growth mindset
- Capitalise on mistakes and confront deficiencies
- Focus on effort and persistence despite setbacks
- Choose difficult tasks
- Reflect on different strategies that work and don't work
- Focus on learning and improving
- Seek challenges
...and make sure you don't:
- Hide mistakes
- Conceal deficiencies
- Blame others
- Disregard feedback
- Act superior
Got a tip for developing a growth mindset? Share it with us by commenting below.