What's Your Growth Mindset?

Embrace the challenge and reach your potential!

August 12, 2015
Kelly Mendoza Director of Learning and Engagement
Common Sense Education

CATEGORIES Common Sense News, Professional Development, Technology Integration

This school year, Common Sense Education is focusing on this powerful question: What's your growth mindset? You may have heard of "growth mindset," a term coined by Dr. Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, in her bestselling book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. In it, Dweck talks about the difference between a "fixed mindset," in which people perceive abilities and skills as inherent or permanent, versus a "growth mindset," which focuses on developing and "stretching" through a love of learning and embracing challenge. Dweck's message is that we can change our mindset, motivating ourselves -- and the kids in our lives -- to fulfill our potential.

I believe having a growth mindset is essential to integrating technology into teaching and learning, and for digital citizenship. Technology is ever changing and dynamic … there's always something new to learn. Believing we can grow, learn new skills, and face challenges with enthusiasm is essential to thriving in a 21st-century classroom. So this school year, we are challenging ourselves -- and educators -- to focus on growth mindset. We're framing growth mindset around five themes (our "5 Cs"), making explicit connections to digital teaching and learning:

  • Curiosity (Aug-Sept): What does it mean to be a curious learner?
  • Collaboration (Oct-Nov): How can I collaborate in meaningful ways?
  • Creativity (Dec-Jan):  How can I inspire creativity in myself and my students?
  • Courage (Feb-March): How can I practice courage to try new things as an educator?
  • Celebration (April-May): How do I celebrate my success … and the successes of others?

As you can see, we'll be focusing on a new theme every two months. Be on the lookout for blog posts and Top Picks and tools related to these themes.

We'll also be hosting NEW monthly Twitter chats using the hashtag #GrowthMindset connected to these themes. Please mark your calendar for the first #GrowthMindset chat on the topic of curiosity, focusing on the question "How can I foster curiosity in my students?"

Join the first #GrowthMindset chat on Monday, August 24, at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET, led by me, @kellymendoza.

Below is a list of additional upcoming #growthmindset Twitter chats and topic themes, all to be held from 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET:

  • 10/26: Collaboration - How can my students and I collaborate in meaningful ways?
  • 1/25: Creativity -   How can I inspire creativity in myself and my students?
  • 3/28: Courage - How can I foster courage in myself and my students to try new things?
  • 5/23: Celebration - How do I celebrate my success … and the successes of others?


I look forward to hearing about ways you are "stretching" your growth mindset, and encourage you to join this challenge!


Rachelle Wooten
Digital Learning Specialist
Fort Settlement Middle School
Sugar Land, TX

I'm excited to explore the 5 themes in greater depth!  It is because of my curiosity that I've continued to grow and develop as an educator.  It drives me to learn more so that I can best support the teachers and students I serve.  I'm looking forward to the Twitter chat on Monday!

Kelly Mendoza
Common Sense Education

Great to hear! Your curiosity and growth is a great model for the teachers and students you work with. Growth mindset is definitely contagious! Look forward to having you join our monthly #growthmindset Twitter chats this school year!

Shirley Coefield
Curriculum Administrator
Northeast Elementary, Kinston, NC 28501

It is my believe that teachers need to be in a constant state of reevaluating their approach to teaching and learning. If we as educators are not willing to grow, and have a growth mindset; we cannot then model what our students need to see. Common Sense Media has help me to look in the mirror to see what my students will see.