Cultivating a growth mindset with your students means that learning is approached with the understanding that improvement is possible. And research shows that a growth mindset can improve academic performance. That’s why Easel by TpT™ was built with this instructional best practice in mind — based on a review of relevant peer-reviewed research, interviews with educators, and industry reports.* Easel supports teachers like you in reinforcing a growth mindset for students and integrates additional instructional practices that learning science recommends, like providing differentiation and timely feedback.
Defining a “Growth Mindset”
A “growth mindset” is the belief that skills and abilities are not static and can be developed through effort and hard work (Dweck, 2006). Coined by Dr. Carol Dweck, growth mindset is the opposite of a fixed mindset (2006) that says you’re born with talent or resources and that makes you successful. Individuals who believe their brain is like a muscle — and therefore, that their talents and intelligence can be improved through effort — have a growth mindset. While those who believe success is a matter of nature or innate talent have a fixed mindset.
In essence, a growth mindset means believing that hard work and effort can develop skills and create a love of learning — as well as having the persistence to work through challenges.
Why a Growth Mindset is Important
But why is a growth mindset important for educators to incorporate and reinforce with their students? Research shows that a growth mindset reliably predicts academic success (Claro, Paunesku, & Dweck, 2016). Students with a growth mindset are more likely to embrace challenges (Mueller & Dweck, 1998), persist in the face of setbacks (Dweck, 2006), and experience deeper learning experiences (Farrington, 2013).
Using Easel Features to Reinforce Growth Mindset with Students
Incorporating growth mindset into digital learning tools helps to reinforce this thinking with students, which is why we designed Easel with features that encourage continued effort.
After a student completes an Easel Assessment, they’ll see feedback that aims to focus on their effort — rather than ability — and normalize making mistakes, regardless of how students are performing. Some exampleIf a student gets below 60% on an Assessment, then the results page says, “Keep trying, [Name]. You’ll improve with more practice!”
And when using Easel Activities, the assignment can be shared between a teacher and a student unlimited times, so students can understand that learning is more than just having “the right answer” and is instead a continuous process.
Learn more about the learning science behind Easel and incorporating instructional best practices in our research report.
How Are You Using Easel to Support a Growth Mindset?
Do you have tips on how to use Easel to support a growth mindset? We’d love to hear them! Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook and tag #EaselByTpT to share your ideas. And keep an eye out, as we may feature your ideas on social media or our blog!
Learn More About Easel
Still getting the hang of Easel? Find some quick how-to’s here, or try this interactive tutorial to walk through the basic tools and functionality. Start creating interactive lessons, just how you want, with Easel by TpT. And if you have a TpT School Access subscription, get started with Easel here.
Easel by TpT is also available with TpT School Access — the school-funded subscription that gives educators access to nearly 4 million teacher-created resources, without paying out of pocket. Refer your principal and share this report with them.
Implicit Theories of Intelligence Predict Achievement Across an Adolescent Transition: A Longitudinal Study and an Intervention
Growth mindset tempers the effects of poverty on academic achievement
Social and emotional education: Core concepts and practices
Mindset: The new psychology of success
Academic mindsets as a critical component of deeper learning