Activity Guide

Society depends on teachers to motivate, inspire, and challenge each of their students. It is our teachers who must see their extraordinary potential for growth. Research shows that our teachers hold the highest influence with students and that personalized learning initiatives increase attendance, decrease failure/ drop-out rates, and decrease disruptive behavior. Student performance increases as student engagement increases. This Discussion Guide will begin a faculty discussion on practices that set high expectations for every student, encourage teaching toward a growth mind-set, and expand your school’s vision of school improvement.

Reading: “Mind-Sets and Equitable Education,” Principal Leadership, January 2010, pp. 26–29.


To get started:

  • Give all participants a copy of the text, Mind-Sets and Equitable Education. (NASSP grants permission for you to make 100 copies of each article.)
  • Ask individuals to suspend their assumptions and use specific textual references to support their comments.
  • Add discussion questions to continue the conversation in a way that is most relevant to your school.
  • Conclude the discussion with open-ended questions designed to further inquiry, such as, “How do these actions align with our existing school improvement initiatives? What would they look like here? What new actions are you considering after having read the article?”

An implementation template is included here to help you organize the new actions being considered. (For strategies to assist in organizing effective discussion groups, see the Text-Based Discussion Guidelines.)

Article: Mind-Sets and Equitable Education by Carol S. Dweck
Collaborative LeadershipPersonalizationCurriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
How did the author use the research on mind-sets to improve student instruction?How can grade-level or instructional teams collaborate to support a growth mind-set?What strategies could we implement at our school to promote a growth mind-set with our faculty members and students?How does a growth mind-set encourage students to take charge of their own learning?What messages promote a growth mind-set?What strategies could we employ at our school to improve the personal accountability of our students for improving their learning?How does a growth mind-set encourage students to pursue a more rigorous curriculum?How can a growth mind-set close the achievement gap?How can our administrators and teachers support a growth mindset?What growth mind-set, messages, and techniques would be effective strategies to improve achievement in the classrooms of our school?
Want to know more?Oxley, D. (2008). Creating instructional program coherence. Principal’s Research Review, 3(5).Protheroe, N. (2010). Making effective use of counselors to increase student achievement. Principal’s Research Review, 5(3).Saleh, A. (2008). Debunking myths in brain research. Principal’s Research Review, 3(2).Sather, S. (2006). Implementing professional learning teams. Principal’s Research Review, 1(5).Dweck, C. (2007). Mindset: The New Psychology of Sucess: Ballantine Books.