Submitted by Ashley Radder-Renter on Wed, 03/18/2020 - 15:17
<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >10 Questions to Ask Students to Encourage A Growth Mindset</span>

10 Questions to Ask Students to Encourage A Growth Mindset

Everyone may have times when they get in the way of their own success and become their own worst enemy. When they are able to change their mindset they can unlock a whole new world that stops the block that keeps their thinking trapped. A growth mindset is one way that fosters positive development and healthy forward-thinking and refers to how an individual responds to challenges and setbacks. It takes more than motivation or resilience to face challenges in today’s society. 

A growth mindset is the opposite of a fixed mindset. If someone possesses a fixed mindset, their mind is made up. These thinkers are definitively set on a given outcome or result whereby they believe that how it is, is how it will always be without ever believing they have the ability to change the outcome. Their thoughts are perceived as finite. A fixed mindset contributes to remaining stuck, however, a growth mindset encourages individuals to believe in change, and believe that they can improve in the future. A growth mindset can have a multitude of benefits that will increase intelligence. Unlike a fixed mindset, a growth mindset needs to be nurtured and developed in order to thrive. Educators and parents have a unique opportunity to encourage growth by being intentional about helping youngsters develop a growth mindset.  Today’s blog will provide you with 10 questions you can ask your student’s on a daily basis that will encourage them to embrace the growth mindset process. 

Why is Having A Growth Mindset Important? 

A growth mindset is more than just about accepting feedback or having an open mind. It means receiving, accepting, and then learning from the experience. It also involves, coming up with an action plan or strategies for improvement and continued growth. It means embracing failure and being okay with failing because you know that, no matter what, you are learning and that setback is not final. It’s being able to maintain a belief about yourself that even if you fail you will succeed. However, educators and parents should use caution when providing praise. Praise that encourages a growth mindset based on effort is beneficial, but if not carefully applied, your praise could lead to the development of a fixed mindset. When you know the difference between the two, you can know which kind of praise or motivation will contribute to a growth mindset and which can lead to a fixed mindset.  

The most helpful type of praise to promote a growth mindset is called process praise. Process praise places the emphasis on the step taken to get the end result thereby focusing on the work, effort, or actions that were taken (i.e “Great job, I know you struggled at first but you kept going, your commitment to staying after class for extra help really shows in your grade on this history assignment”). This type of praise not only acknowledges the effort but also the process one has taken to get there. The opposite is personal praise, if not careful it could lead to fixed thinking, (I.e “Joey, you’re really good at this math” or ``Joey, Math is not your best subject”). If you set a child up to think that they have mastered something or are bad at something they will not put forth the effort to learn because their mind is turned off, nor will they strive to improve the process because they will think they have either already won or, that they never will. Just like all people, sometimes children face challenges or setbacks more than others which can lead to more of a fixed mindset.  Kids who develop a closed mindset may develop overconfidence or become insecure or defensive which will hinder their growth. It’s important that children understand that setbacks can be a way forward in life. A growth mindset is an ongoing process, and it’s not always an easy task, but it is a valuable way to help develop talent and strengths.  

Here are 10 questions you can ask your students on a daily basis to encourage a growth mindset. 

Copy of Mindset Questions
  1. What will you do to solve this problem?

  2. How did you keep things going when things got tough?

  3. What happened today that made you keep going?

  4. What else do you want to Learn?

  5. Are you proud of the end result? Why or Why not?

  6. What did you do today that made you try hard?

  7. What did you learn from this?

  8. How have you prepared yourself to learn today?

  9. What learning strategies did you use today?

  10. What mistake did you make today that taught you something? 


Here are some key takeaways from today’s blog on encouraging a growth mindset. 

  • A growth mindset is a healthy way to keep the student’s belief that they can improve over time.
  • A fixed mindset can lead to overconfidence, or defensiveness and insecurity. 
  • Failure is not final and by learning from failure,  individuals will develop a growth mindset. 
  • Process praise is the most effective way to foster a growth mindset with students. 

If you agree that a growth mindset is more effective than having a closed mindset, reflect on the practices in your classroom, or home and decide if there is anything you would change or adapt to better promote a growth mindset in your student.  

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YESEEP Blog Tags
Student Engagement, Student HOTS