Introduction to Growth Mindset (Version 1.0)
By Arietta Fleming-Davies and Jeremy M Wojdak
A great deal of evidence suggests that human brains are remarkably plastic, even among adults, and that learning new skills or information changes the structure of the brain. This module introduces students to the research supporting ‘growth mindset,’ the idea that you can increase your brainpower and ability through effort, and contrasts it with ‘fixed mindset,’ the idea that people are inherently good or bad at certain tasks, and there is little to be done about it.
The activity asks students to categorize example statements as either ‘growth’ or ‘fixed’ mindsets, and then complete a journaling exercise based on experiences in their own lives. The activity can be completed entirely out of class, or introduced in-class and the exercise assigned as homework.
This module was original designed for beginning biology students, but could be used in any course where comfort with quantitative skills is important. It is recommended that this module be implemented early in the course to help students who consider themselves inherently ‘bad’ at math to realize that their understanding of mathematics can grow with practice over time.
Fleming-Davies, A., Wojdak, J. M. (2018). Introduction to Growth Mindset. BIOMAAP: Biology Student Math Attitudes and Anxiety Program, QUBES Educational Resources. doi:10.25334/Q46T5C