Growth mindset beyond the classroom

Youth with a growth mindset earn better grades and perform better on standardized tests. But research also shows that youth’s mindsets influence a host of other attitudes and behaviors that have consequences both at school and beyond school. Research has found that youth with a growth mindset about their intelligence:

  • Retain their confidence when faced with challenges
  • Are more open to taking risks and going beyond their abilities
  • Are more resilient when they make a mistake or suffer a setback
  • Emphasize learning and their development more than “showing off”
  • Cheat less, as they are more interested in improving than the final result

These behaviors are part of the reason why students with a growth mindset perform better. And these traits have obvious value for other domains of life, such as personal relationships and success in the workplace.

Other research has looked at a growth mindset of personality, finding that youth who believe their social skills are similarly improveable:

  • Feel fewer social pressures
  • Have less aggression and stress
  • Are less likely to label their peers with fixed identities (e.g., “bully” or “loser”)
  • Handle negative experiences, such as bullying, more effectively
  • Work harder to improve their relationships with others
  • Handle conflict more easily as they recognize their “adversary” as being able to change

Adopting more of a growth mindset can help a child in many ways throughout their life. When caring adults — parents, teachers, neighbors, and, of course, mentors — help youth emphasize a growth mindset, they are truly giving a gift that will last a lifetime.

If you want to learn more about growth mindset and some of the compelling research that shows the power of a growth mindset, check out this collection of articles and research findings. The next lesson explores just how important mentors like you can be in this effort.

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