Growth Mindset


My notes while researching Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset.  Encourage my students with what they can do next instead of saying “yes” or “no” – there’s always next.  No matter if you pass or fail, there’s always a next in life.  I can apply this to my journey in grad school, I can always choose the “I’m not good at it, YET” attitude.  No matter what I’m challenged with, don’t give up and get frustrated, just dig in a little deeper and ask for feedback – with an open mind!  I’ve learned that I can get smarter once I start getting stronger, in the way I think, the way I teach, the way I learn.

I stumbled upon something that I know to be true, but just don’t put it into my best practices at all times.  Neuroscientific discoveries have shown us that we can increase our neural growth by following good nutrition and sleep habits.  I plan to implement that into my life now – not tomorrow.

Another interesting fact was how we praise our students. I believe in showing praise for hard work, not just in making a perfect score, but for really trying hard, digging deep, showing true grit, giving it your all, then giving a little more.  Those are “soft skills” that we need to teach our students, our own children, grandchildren, etc.  I also believe in modeling these behaviors.  We need to cultivate our youth to think for themselves, be problem-solvers, and to know where to look for information that is useful.


Dweck, C (2015). Revisits the “Growth Mindset”. Retrieved on October 4, 2016 from




It turns out, if you believe your brain can grow, you behave differently. So the researchers asked, “Can we change mindsets? And if so, how?

For example, studies on different kinds of praise have shown that telling children they are smart encourages a fixed mindset, whereas praising hard work and effort cultivates a growth mindset.

Students praised for intelligence preferred to continue working on the easier tasks, while students praised for effort chose to progress to more challenging tasks.

The effort-praised group exhibited more challenge-seeking behavior and cited learning goals as most motivating. The intelligence-praised group avoided challenge in favor of ensured success, and cited performance – i.e., looking smart – as a primary goal.



Annotated blog page with embeded materials from current work.

Carol Dweck Revisits the ‘Growth Mindset’

September 22, 2015
We found that students’ mindsets—how they perceive their abilities—played a key role in their motivation and achievement, and we found that if we changed students’ mindsets, we could boost their achievement. More precisely, students who believed their intelligence could be developed (a growth mindset) outperformed those who believed their intelligence was fixed (a fixed mindset). And when students learned through a structured program that they could “grow their brains” and increase their intellectual abilities, they did better. Finally, we found that having children focus on the process that leads to learning (like hard work or trying new strategies) could foster a growth mindset and its benefits.
Students need to try new strategies and seek input from others when they’re stuck. They need this repertoire of approaches—not just sheer effort—to learn and improve.
The growth-mindset approach helps children feel good in the short and long terms, by helping them thrive on challenges and setbacks on their way to learning. When they’re stuck, teachers can appreciate their work so far, but add: “Let’s talk about what you’ve tried, and what you can try next.”
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.
But the path to a growth mindset is a journey, not a proclamation.
More notes…Do I Own My Own Domain If You Grade It? By Andrew Rikard Aug 10, 2015
UMW gives students agency and control; they are the subjects of their learning, not the objects of education technology software.”
The web is a network for conversations, and if students still see their audience as a teacher with a red pen, then nothing changes.
Agency….At that point the student once again loses agency in relation to the institution. Promoting digital ownership is different than assigning work in publicly accessible spaces.
Audience…but the assignments must be framed by a conversation about audience and the way the ‘domain’ represents the author to that audience.
Rigor…agency, rigor, and creativity. They are questioning how their student’s ‘domains’ can engage broader audiences and promote high quality, original scholarship.

The Web We Need to Give Students

“Giving students their own digital domain is a radical act. It gives them the ability to work on the Web and with the Web.”

By Audrey Watters

View at

Students have little agency when it comes to education technology — much like they have little agency in education itself.

Today, UMW and a growing number of other schools believe that students need a proprietary online space in order to be intellectually productive.

I can remember how cumbersome it was on the last day of school to carry home all of the projects that the teachers gave us since the beginning of the year, everything in our lockers, etc.  Then of course, most of that stuff is gone and forgotten.

In a 2009 article that served as a philosophical grounding of sorts for the initiative, Gardner Campbell, then a professor at Baylor University, called for a “personal cyberinfrastructure” where students:

not only would acquire crucial technical skills for their digital lives but also would engage in work that provides richly teachable moments…. Fascinating and important innovations would emerge as students are able to shape their own cognition, learning, expression, and reflection in a digital age, in a digital medium. Students would frame, curate, share, and direct their own ‘engagement streams’ throughout the learning environment.

I like the way WordPress allows me to keep some pages private – like this one – because I’m copying and pasting from other websites instead of actually writing notes.  I’m doing this for two reasons – one, wi-fi isn’t working at my house and now it’s not working at school – I have everything stored on the Mac that requires wi-fi!  Secondly, I’m practicing my blogging – and I’m just gathering information and saving info for documenting my resources and references.
I’m encouraging my students to create an ePortfolio in all of my classes.  In my Graphics Design class, it’s incorporating a skill that must be taught.  In my work program classes, I’m encouraging my work students to start an eportfolio now that can be carried with them once they are in the real world and have to get a full time job or another part time job for college.  Let your digital work be a positive reflection of what you can actually create.  It allows and fosters creativity that might not otherwise be seen during an interview.  I can’t believe how shy some of these students are when I assign them to create an actual voice recording – of only 10 seconds.  Now, they can talk for 10 minutes straight without taking a breath, or they can make videos and post on social media, but when they think they are getting graded on a recording, their first response is “I don’t like the way my voice sounds.”
A third student has built a living CV, highlighting her academic research as well as her work experience.
In building that personal cyberinfrastructure, students not only would acquire crucial technical skills for their digital lives but also would engage in work that provides richly teachable moments ranging from multimodal writing to information science, knowledge management, bibliographic instruction, and social networking. Fascinating and important innovations would emerge as students are able to shape their own cognition, learning, expression, and reflection in a digital age, in a digital medium. Students would frame, curate, share, and direct their own “engagement streams” throughout the learning environment.4
The author’s reading of “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure” is available as a podcast on his blog, Gardner Writes (http://www.gardnercampbell .net/blog1).

Who owns the eportfolio
Please take some time to follow the links within the document. A few are highlighted below but it is your responsibility to review all the course material

Do I Own My Domain If You Grade It?

The Web We Need to Give Students.

Campbell, G. (2009). A Personal Cyberinfrastructure-ERM0957.pdf


Edutopia:  I’ve been reading and learning interesting information on Edutopia since I started the Master’s program.  I’m spending more time on Twitter than ever before, but following educational tweets rather than just socializing with friends and family. Here are some of my favorites:

Integrating Technology and Literacy | Edutopia

Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement | Edutopia

Socratic Seminars: Building a Culture of Student-Led Discussion | Edutopia from edutopia’s Tweet

The Big List of Educational Grants and Resources | Edutopia from T. Thibodeaux, Ed.D.’s Tweet



Socratic Seminars: Building a Culture of Student-Led Discussion

Putting the FORM in Formative Assessment | Edutopia from edutopia’s Tweet

Download the Twitter app

How Teacher-Created Free Online Resources Are Changing the Classroom | MindShift | KQED News from Chris Weber, Ed.D.’s Tweet from Chris Weber, Ed.D.’s Tweet

Integrating Technology and Literacy | Edutopia from edutopia’s Tweet

Download the Twitter app

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