Cultivating a Growth Mindset

Teacher leader develops and fosters a growth mindset.
Made by Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Learning at USD
Earn Graduate Credit
Graduate-level credit is available for this micro-credential. You can apply for credit through one of our university partners after successfully completing the micro-credential.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Teacher leader continuously strives to improve his/her coaching practice in order to make the greatest impact on student learning.

Method Components

Advantages and Disadvantages of ‘Static’ versus ‘Dynamic’ Worldviews (Mindsets)

Static Worldview (Mindset)

“Within a static view of reality, fixed traits organize the individual’s phenomenology; there is close correspondence between traits and actions—traits engender actions, which in turn imply traits. This view of the human reality has the advantage of being parsimonious, but it is not without its potential cost.” (Dweck, 282)

  • Traits are fixed
  • Ignore useful criticism
  • Avoid challenges
  • Effort is a waste of time

Dynamic Worldview (Mindset), otherwise known as a ‘Growth’ Mindset

“This dynamic, incremental view of human reality...may result in a lower degree of certainty when making behavioral predictions_‹_ Moreover, because human attributes are viewed as malleable, a high degree of certainty or closure may never be possible. However, compared to the static view, this view allows more room for change, and the mediational analysis fostered by this view may also suggest mechanisms for change... this view may reduce the likelihood of helpless responding and promote mastery-oriented coping in the face of aversive events.” (Dweck, 283)

  • Existing abilities can be stretched
  • Learn from mistakes
  • Embrace challenges
  • Effort is the path to mastery

Strategies for developing and fostering a growth mind-set

  • Identify at least two credible sources (social media, other educators, blogs, etc.) where you can get job-related information weekly to stay abreast of best practices.
  • Identify professional growth opportunities offered by your school, the district, online, or an outside organization.
  • Establish a vision for your classroom, or reflect on the existing vision you’ve set for your classroom and/or your school.
  • Identify focus areas of growth and/or areas of need related to your teaching and/or coaching practice.
  • Seek out information related to focus areas and maintain an open mind to other areas—perhaps those could be future focus areas.
  • Set an actionable goal for how to integrate new strategies into your teaching and/or coaching practice.
  • After each strategy is integrated, determine a method for measuring the impact of the intervention and do so.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

This is one of the seed psychology papers introducing mindset. Dweck is the person who initially suggested “mindset” in educational research.

Coaching education and leadership training programs should consider focusing on helping coaches and leaders develop a growth mindset about their leadership abilities, and suggestions are offered for ways to incorporate the study of and emphasis on a growth leadership mindset in sport.

  • Thorsteinsson, G., & Niculescu, A. (2013). Examining Teachers’ Mindset and Responsibilities in Using ICT. Studies in Informatics and Control, 22(3), 315-322.

In this rapidly changing environment, technology plays an essential role as it offers opportunities for online education and support for conventional education. However, acquiring and deploying a MLE is a difficult task that concerns teachers’ responsibilities and their mindset. The research indicates that teachers are not always able to make full use of ICT because they lack self-confidence, time for preparation and the technological skills needed to successfully manage the teaching-learning process inside and outside the classroom. Findings also suggest that there are other problems associated with new roles, role conflict and the perception of increased workload.

Lifelong learning is more than just adult education or training—it is a mindset and habit people must acquire. Lifelong learners must adopt new frameworks to accelerate progress.

  • Day, C. (2000). Teachers in the Twenty-first Century: Time to renew the vision. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 6(1), 101-115.

Calls for investing in lifelong learning across the community have increased. This paper considers the contexts and range of challenges for teachers in the twenty-first century and suggests that investment in maintaining their intellectual and emotional selves is key to the educational success of schools in changing times.

  • Upadyaya, K., & Eccles, J. (2015). Do teachers’ perceptions of children’s math and reading related ability and effort predict children’s self-concept of ability in math and reading? Educational Psychology, 35(1), 110-127. doi:10.1080/01443410.2014.915927

A four-year longitudinal study shows that when elementary teachers believed in growth mindset, their students had high ability in reading and math, and those students developed higher academic self-concept.


Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

To earn this micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3 and a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview question

(300-word limit)

  • Please describe which sources (articles, other teachers, PD, etc.) you used to develop a growth mindset and how you determined which areas to focus on.

Part 2. Work examples/artifacts

Please submit several artifacts that were created while fostering a growth mindset (such as links to writing, audio, images, video, or other products) including such items as:

  • Educator reflection on the development of their growth mindset
  • Educator reflection on what he/she has learned from the source(s) he/she selected and how the growth mindset will be incorporated into his/her teaching and/or coaching practice
  • Video clip of the implementation of a new strategy caused by his/her development of a growth mindset
  • Annotated photos of work resulting from his/her growth mindset

Part 3. Reflection

(300-word limit)

Provide a reflection on your experience, using the following questions as guidance:

  • How has your ability to foster your growth mindset ultimately impacted students?
  • Moving forward, what are some other areas you would like to focus on to improve your teaching and/or coaching practice?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


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