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Key Takeaways:

  • A growth mindset views attributes like intelligence and talent as qualities that can be improved throughout life.
  • Students with a growth mindset view mistakes as opportunities to try again and move forward.
  • Developing a growth mindset in students is possible with some simple techniques.

Getting students to reach their potential and ultimately achieve success is the goal of every teacher and parent. This can be difficult to achieve as children can have different reactions to setbacks. Some students are deterred by challenges while others are motivated to try again. The important question to ask here is, “How do students with a growth mindset see their mistakes?”

Here, we’ll explore how the growth mindset can contribute to approaching mistakes in a healthier and more flexible manner to set your student up for success.

What is a Growth Mindset?

A growth mindset considers intelligence and talent as qualities that can be improved through time. It is the belief that one can develop one's abilities through deliberate effort and activity.

Individuals who have a growth mindset understand that obstacles are vital for learning. In fact, these failures give us the opportunity to work harder to stay motivated and try again. Failures are seen as transitory setbacks in a growth mentality rather than the end of the journey. Growth mindsets promote learning, motivation, effectiveness, and resilience because of this.

When looking at the growth mindset vs. the fixed mindset, which considers qualities like talent and intelligence to be unchangeable. A fixed mindset is when a person thinks everyone has the same intelligence and natural abilities from birth.

People with a fixed perspective tend to shy away from challenges because they do not see talent and intelligence as things that can be developed. And because those who have a fixed mindset regard these characteristics as fixed fundamental elements of a person are easily intimidated or threatened by other people's achievements.

Having a stuck mindset can also lead to pessimistic thinking and minimal advancement. For instance, a person with a fixed mindset can struggle with a task and think they are not smart enough to do it.

People with a growth mindset are more likely to put more effort into their undertakings, embrace challenges, use feedback to learn, and see others’ successes as an inspiration.

How Do Students With a Growth Mindset See Their Mistakes?

Students who have a growth mindset see mistakes as an opportunity to expand their knowledge and learn. With this perspective, they constantly feel the push to put in more effort and produce better outcomes in their activities.

Students who have a growth mindset are concerned with improving their performance. For these kids, moving forward and improving their lives means failure and making mistakes are necessary.

So, how do students who adopt a growth mindset see their mistakes? Essentially, they don't see mistakes as failures but rather as learning opportunities for new topics and a way to improve. They also see mistakes as a necessary first step in achieving their goals.

How Does Having a Growth Mindset Help Students Deal With Failures and Mistakes?

When someone has a growth mindset, they see failure as a chance to try again and to work even harder.

People often depend solely on talent without considering the work needed to make things happen. These people also avoid difficult work because they worry about making mistakes and failing.

A person with a growth mindset, on the other hand, is convinced that intelligence and learning never stop throughout life. These aspects may be improved with work, knowledge, and time.

Students who want to become more intelligent should keep in mind that work is a key factor in achieving this goal. They ought to invest more effort in accomplishing their goals and learning from their past mistakes.

Growth mindset learners are open to difficulties, drawing their mental strength from such events and turning setbacks into opportunities for growth.

While having a growth mindset does not prevent people from making mistakes, it does help them learn valuable lessons about how to deal with them.

Students who have adopted a growth mindset are aware of the advantages of increasing their efforts, learning new abilities, and putting in more practice time. They are also aware of their shortcomings and lifelong improvement areas.

Students who have a growth mindset deal with mistakes and failures using the following techniques:

Noting down mistakes. For students that have a growth mindset, identifying the problem is the first and most crucial step. By understanding the root of their mistakes, they are better equipped to identify the solutions and learn how to fix them.

Accepting mistakes. After realizing their mistakes, students should learn to accept them. Acceptance enables them to develop plans for improving and going forward. They learn about their alternatives for changing things as a result.

Analyzing mistakes. The next step after accepting their mistakes is for students to study them, determine what caused them, and consider what went wrong when handling their tasks. After coming to that realization, they can then determine what to do. Students will also be aware of whether they can make these corrections on their own or whether they need to ask for help from others.

Looking for a remedy. The next step is to look for a way to fix the mistake. A combination of existing talents or learning new skills may be necessary for this. The learner can also include extra stages in completing the task that they may have overlooked during their first effort, which is a realization that should come from the analysis stage.

Creating an action plan. Making a strategy to follow when correcting a mistake ensures that the student prevents the steps that may lead to repeating the error. This helps the student move forward.

Developing a Growth Mindset in Students

Developing a growth mindset in students is possible. It helps to remember this growth mindset quote by Thomas Edison: “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” In the same way, we can develop a growth mindset in students by doing the following:

Embrace imperfection

If you are a teacher or a parent, teach your student or child to see their mistakes as necessary steps in their pursuit of knowledge. Reiterate the notion that no one has ever obtained knowledge without experiencing failure.

Use different language

Written and spoken language is a powerful tool for educating students on the difference between fixed and growth mindsets. Test this by having students rehearse the mantra "Mistakes help you learn" while avoiding statements like "Bad answer" or "You're so smart!"

Reframe challenges as opportunities

Teaching kids how to study and apply techniques to overcome obstacles is part of cultivating a growth mindset. Describe the advantages of overcoming challenges for individuals who go outside their comfort zones to take on issues head-on.

Provide opportunities for self-evaluation

Spend some time encouraging kids to consider their accomplishments and shortcomings. Help them learn more about their capacity to analyze a situation and come up with a solution. Appreciate the students' effort, the process they followed, and their personal growth rather than the end result. Cultivate a sense of curiosity.

Model a growth mindset

It's crucial for teachers to demonstrate a growth mindset to students because they serve as important role models. Tell the truth about a challenging time or subject for you. Students that are involved in this way learn the importance of overcoming obstacles in order to advance.

The Bottom Line

Staying committed to fixed routines and mindsets can hamper growth. Helping students train their brains to accept changes and challenges in life allows them to navigate it with more confidence and courage.

It can be difficult to change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Students may feel stuck in some places and that they’re second-guessing their choices. Encourage them further, and they can make a greater impact with their growing abilities rather than staying stagnant.

By using these tips and some inspiration from our growth mindset posters, students can approach life head on and succeed, even if it means failing from time to time.