HERE WE GROW! Cultivating a Growth Mindset.

Peter J. Smith
August 12, 2018

The research surrounding the fixed versus growth mindsets are the work of Carol Dweck of Stanford University, who has written many books on the topic and has put at least two decades of research into it.

One of the very first things I researched at Saint Leo University is the concept of the Growth Mindset, and it the very first thing I tell my students and my teacher-colleagues.

How it works is this. Some people adopt a “fixed mindset”, where they have a belief that their ability and intelligence is limited by genes and environmental factors, and it never changes. The opposite rationale is that their is a growth mindset, where failure is not seen as a bad thing, it’s a learning process. One might not know about something today, perhaps NOT YET.  That phrase is common in the Dweck research.

So it goes something like this. A person could be naturally intelligent, but put forth little actual effort into a project, and not achieve the goal.  A less-gifted person could put forth a great deal of effort, and achieve the goal.  Effort is key to a growth mindset.  This is something that we as students and teachers have to remind ourselves.

There is also research involved in praise, and I will be blogging about that in upcoming segments. But as far as a growth mindset is concerned, praise should not be given for ability or intelligence, but rather for effort.

The staff at can provide training in growth mindset  (or just about any topic) to teachers and students alike via a private sessions at a low, introductory price of just $35/hour.  You can have just one hour or as many as you need. We accept Paypal, cash or check/money order.  For more information, email: