Where to start?
Research on changing organizational structures to support a growth mindset is still in its infancy. Consequently, there is no established "right way" to train teachers on growth mindset. You should decide for yourself how to structure your team's professional development program. With that said, we provide some recommendations below for structuring your growth mindset educator community. These recommendations are based on conversations with numerous educators who have successfully implemented mindset professional learning communities.
Start with motivated teachers and let their success inspire others
Educators from a variety of contexts have suggested starting with motivated teachers and letting their success draw in other teachers. For example, if you are a principal wanting to bring this into your school, you can invite teachers to participate in a growth mindset professional development series using our outreach materials in the next topic - Materials for Growth Mindset Educator Teams. Then, as you and your teachers move through the professional development series, you can provide opportunities for participating teachers to share success stories at staff meetings. By not pressuring staff to participate all at once and allowing them to get on board when they become sufficiently convinced, you can help reduce the resistance of skeptical teachers. When teachers feel pressured to change, like most people, they are more likely to develop greater resistance than if they are allowed to move at their own pace. It may seem slower, but it can ultimately lead to greater buy in and more sustained transformation over the long term.
Teachers should try to commit to at least one semester of implementation
We provide a course curriculum for a professional learning series that you can use and/or modify to fit your needs. Teachers should try to commit to implementing growth mindset practices for at least one semester and, if possible, continue meeting regularly during this time.
Group size can vary
There’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation for how large or small a group should be. For example, the logistics of meeting space may dictate your ideal group size. If your group will be meeting for a standard block of time (usually one hour), then you may want to cap participation at 20-25 in order for large group discussions to be inclusive. If you gain momentum in your school or community for this work, you may want to consider having multiple groups facilitated by other enthusiastic teachers. Additional groups could then be organized by content area or grade level, which some teachers find helpful.