Educator Toolbox

TXGU Activity: Taking Ownership of Learning


Created By:
 Texas GEAR UP

Grade Level: 7th/8th

Introduction for Educators: In the demanding environment of college, even the best students can struggle to succeed. That’s why it’s imperative they learn how to persevere in order to overcome obstacles that will undoubtedly occur. Help your students understand and distinguish between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset as you prepare them for the hard work of overcoming challenges down the road. 

Introduction for Students: Are smart people just born that way? Or are there things we can do to make us substantially smarter? Well, it just depends on your mindset, according to psychologist Carol Dweck. Through her research, she found that people have two mindsets: fixed or growth. Someone with a fixed mindset believes that their abilities, talent, and intelligence are fixed and can't ever be changed substantially. Whereas someone with a growth mindset believes that no matter how much talent or intelligence they have, they can always change it substantially through effort.

The Activity: Go to Mind Set Online and click “Test Your Mindset” near the top of the page. Take the short quiz and be sure to record your results. After you’re finished, go ahead and browse the site for great articles to read, including “What is Mindset?” and “How Can You Change from a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset?"

Once you’ve finished reading, take a moment to reflect on the following questions: Has there been a time where a fixed mindset about your intelligence or skills kept you from being the best you could be? Are there any challenges that you feel a fixed mindset would help you overcome? What about a growth mindset? 

Bonus Features: Label your classroom a "growth mindset" area. Place a notice on the wall. Encourage using a growth mindset when challenges arise.