EL Education.

Building a Culture of Growth: Growth in Adults

What is the relationship between adult and student mindsets?

"A good teacher is one who continues to learn along with the students." —Carol Dweck, professor

The mindset of adults and students in the building influences the culture of the school. In a reciprocal manner, the culture of the school also influences the growth of adults and students. The content of this page will help you, regardless of your position at your school, to explore your own mindset and determine what your relationship is to others in your school community.

Learning Target

I can explain structures and practices that promote a growth mindset in adults.

Watch: Encouraging a Growth Mindset

  1. How do the teachers in these videos demonstrate a growth mindset about teaching as a craft?
  2. How do you demonstrate a growth mindset about teaching as a craft? 
  3. What concrete steps do you take to continually improve your practice? 



Other Topics in This Pack

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TeachingChannel. (2014, April 4). I Heart Teachers: Encouraging Growth Mindset. Retrieved October 14, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGuLUHtu708

TeachingChannel. (2014, May 2). National Teachers of the Year: Reflections on Practice & Growth. Retrieved October 14, 2015 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAK4jQ3uU4w

Dig Deeper

Read the following book chapter and use the questions below to guide your independent thinking or discussion with colleagues. 

Chapter 2: Teacher Mindset excerpted from:

Crawford, L. & Hagedorn, C. (2009). Classroom Discipline: Guiding Adolescents to Responsible Independence. Minneapolis, MN: Origins. 

Before Reading:

Note if you agree or disagree with each statement below.

  1. Every student has the capacity to grow and ultimately succeed.
  2. Self-control and resilience are teachable and learnable (some students need more guidance than others).
  3. Given the plasticity of the brain, we can grow new and positive habits.
  4. Effort, not talent, is the best path to mastery.
  5. Teachers have the capacity to grow their skills so that all students' needs are addressed.
  6. Challenges, setbacks, and criticism are welcome because they provide a context for growth.

After Reading: For Teachers...

Respond to these questions:

  1. Have your responses to any of the above questions changed? Which responses changed and why?
  2. Explain the connection between a teacher's mindset and the discipline strategies he or she uses in the classroom.

After Reading: For School Leaders...

Respond to these questions:

  1. Have your responses to any of the above questions changed? Which responses changed and why?
  2. What school-wide agreements about discipline exist to promote a culture of growth in your building?
  3. Will you support teachers in building a strong culture of growth in your school? If so, how?


  1. What most resonated with you while viewing this video?
  2. Explain your own reflection on practice and growth as a teacher. 
  3. What have you learned that you did not know before you began teaching?