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Courage, Risk-Taking, and Growth Mindset

Explore the relationship between growth mindset and courage, and join our upcoming Twitter chat.

Kelly Mendoza | March 25, 2016

What's something new you want to try in your class? What's holding you back?

Courage is the ability to face our fears and try something different, intimidating, or even frightening. In the next installment of our Twitter chats that focus on the "5 Cs" of #growthmindset (curiosity, collaboration, creativity, courage, and celebration), we focus on courage and ask the question: How can I practice courage to try new things as an educator?

Courage is an essential part of having a growth mindset. In her best-selling book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, defines growth mindset as focusing on developing and "stretching" our mindsets through a love of learning and embracing challenge. Dweck's message is that we can change our mindset by motivating ourselves -- and the kids in our lives -- to fulfill our potential. By continuing to try even when we want to give up, taking risks, trying new things, and telling ourselves that we can do it, we're expanding our growth mindset. We not only need to model courage, we also need to support our students to have courage, whether it’s speaking up in class, pursuing something they’re interested in, or stepping up as a leader.

As Jessica Lura, Common Sense Education Certified Educator and middle school educator, says, "In our ever-changing world, it's important for students to develop a risk-taking mindset themselves. And I think that you need to model as a teacher how to take risks." See more of what Jessica says about the importance of risk-taking in this video.

Join a discussion about ways we all can be more courageous, and share that crazy idea you're working up the courage to try, in our next #growthmindset Twitter chat on Monday, March 28, 4–5 p.m. PT/7–8 p.m. ET. Superstar Common Sense Education Certified Educators Rachelle Wooten (@rwootenits) and Tamara Letter (@HCPSTinyTech) will lead the discussion, and I'll be there at @kellymendoza.

Also, mark your calendar for our last #growthmindset Twitter chat focused on celebration, on May 23, 4–5 p.m. PT/7-8 p.m. ET, where we'll explore the question: How do I celebrate my success and the successes of others?