Change your Mindset, THEN change your words!

I want to take issue with one of the more common Growth Mindset infographics: “Change your words. Change your Mindset.” You can find it in various forms on social media and in many classrooms. The problem is, it gets the message we want to send to students back-to-front. Firstly, like many Growth Mindset memes, there’s […]

How hard can it be?

How hard can it be? According to research by McKinsey & Company, it’s critically important that students can accurately answer that question. It turns out that a student’s ability to identify the cost of achieving their goals is linked to increased academic performance. Using data from the 2015 PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) across […]

Learning From Mistakes is Over Rated

There’s a lot of talk these days about mistakes. So much talk, in fact, we could be forgiven for thinking that learning is all about making mistakes. But to think this way would be a mistake! With all the hype surrounding mistakes, we lose sight of the fact that mistakes – although a natural and […]

What should Mindset-savvy parents look for in a school?

I received an email from a parent recently, asking me if I could recommend a good Growth Mindset school for her child. What a fascinating question! Growth Mindsets are in the public eye. Parents are beginning to recognise the importance of developing a Growth Mindset in their children, to the point where some are looking […]

Growth Mindset and Positive Education

Growth Mindset and Positive Psychology are intimately linked. The intention of Positive Psychology is to help individuals develop the psychological factors that contribute to a well-lived and fulfilling life. These include character strengths and virtues, such as: wisdom and knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence. What’s the connection? People with a Fixed Mindset see […]


No, that’s not a typo. Schlimmbesserung is a German word that means “to make things worse through an effort to improve”. What if our efforts to improve students’ Mindsets were schlimmbesserung? What if they were backfiring and creating Fixed Mindsets instead of Growth Mindsets? This is exactly what teachers risk doing when they jump on […]

Putting Growth back into Growth Mindset!

A popular catchphrase associated with the Growth Mindset is: Mistakes are proof you’re trying. It’s easy to see why social media has latched onto this saying. There are some good messages embedded in it. We certainly want students to try, and we want them to put in the effort. And by associating mistakes with trying, […]

Growth Mindset and Academic results are not separate goals

Last week, the Sydney Morning Herald ran a story entitled “Reduce HSC pressure in favour of a ‘growth mindset’, NSW tells David Gonski”. While the article raises some interesting points, the headline should not be misinterpreted to mean that a Growth Mindset is more important than academic results. A Growth Mindset is not an alternative […]

Habits of Mind: An enduring part of a changing world

The Habits of Mind were my first passion in education. This passion has endured for 20 years. I’ve spent countless hours developing Habits of Mind resources and delivering professional learning to teachers around the world. What originally drew me so strongly to the Habits of Mind was the fact they weren’t simply dreamt up by […]

Do your students “get” learning?

Students with a Fixed Mindset don’t really “get” learning. From their perspective, school isn’t about learning, it’s about discovering what they can do. These students come to class wondering whether they have the abilities required to be successful. The answer is predetermined: they are simply waiting to find out. For students with a Fixed Mindset, […]