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Developing Growth Mindsets: Principles and Practices for Maximizing Students' Potential


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Human beings have tremendous potential to acquire new knowledge, develop new skills, and improve their brains throughout life. By explicitly teaching learners about brain plasticity and malleable intelligence (the idea that they can become functionally smarter through effort) and by modeling and teaching specific learning strategies, teachers can help students experience higher levels of success as they develop a growth mindset.

Table of contents

Growth and Fixed Mindsets in Education

Growing Neural Networks

Supporting Positive Engagement and Energized Learning

About the authors

Donna Wilson, psychologist, ASCD faculty member, and author speaks internationally on developing growth mindsets and increasing student learning. Former chair of education at the University of Detroit Mercy, Wilson is the cofounder, president, and academic team leader of BrainSMART, Inc and the not-for-profit Center for Innovative Education and Prevention (CIEP).

With her passion for innovative strategies and empowering all learners with current science, Wilson codeveloped the first Master of Science and Educational Specialist degree programs with majors in brain-based teaching (psychology, education, educational neuroscience, learning Science) created for teachers in real classrooms. Over the past 20 years, she has shared her work with more than 60,000 professionals.

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Instructional Strategies

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