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Coined by Dr. Carol Dweck, "growth mindset" is the belief that one's intelligence is not fixed. Research has shown that having a growth mindset can have a significant, positive impact on students' motivation, level of effort, and ultimately achievement. Therefore, Oregon GEAR UP has focused on providing educators with professional development related to growth mindset and social emotional learning, starting with a 3-day summer institute in 2015 as well as workshops hosted at the school.
Educators who participated in the workshops took a growth mindset survey developed by Mindset Works and administered by Metis Associates before the training ("Pretest") and 3 to 5 months after the training ("Posttest"). Complete results from seven schools (Dayton Junior High and High School, Elkton Charter School, Lowell Junior/Senior High School, Powers Junior/Senior High School, Clara Brownell Middle School and Umatilla High School) show gains in staff perceptions on how much teachers can change.
A bulletin board at Dayton Junior High School featuring growth mindset practices
85% of respondents said the workshop increased their knowledge and skills. In addition, as a result of the professional development, 75% agree or strongly agree that they have enhanced their instructional practices and 70% agree or strongly agree that their students have enhanced their skills and/or improved their attitudes towards learning. One participant summed up the impact: "I have changed my mindset when working with students. As a result, I have changed the way I instruct students with varying needs. In the end, more students are able to master the skills being taught for the unit at hand."