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Elementary School Creates Superhero ‘Mindset Man’ to Encourage Growth Mindset

Popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck, growth mindset refers to an individual's belief that intelligence is not a fixed trait but rather something that can be cultivated with hard work and perseverance.

Growth mindset has taken off in education circles because experts believe that if students can adopt such a way of thinking, they can find a path to success regardless of their innate ability simply because they believe they can.

Because the concept is relatively new and research is still catching up, the jury is still out on what the best way to cultivate growth mindset in students is, leaving the door open for educators to try different techniques.

In one Connecticut school, that opportunity has allowed for the creation of a superhero persona designed to keep students motivated and faithful in their opportunity to excel throughout the school week.

Michael Wilson, Assistant Principal at West Woods Upper Elementary School in Farmington, Connecticut, recently wrote an article for GettingSmart.com on how his school is working overtime to adopt and implement a culture of "cultivating and celebrating growth mindset."

This work has led to the creation of Mindset Man, a masked man who walks around the school "instilling positive attitudes, giving high-fives and teaching kids that it's okay to make mistakes—that sometimes learning is hard, but that effort will be rewarded with progress. It is amazing to see the students' affection for Mindset Man spark enthusiasm for his underlying message," Wilson said.

"For us, Mindset Man is more than just a superhero mascot. Mindset Man is a tangible, interactive reminder to kids that they are still growing as students, and that the right mindset has a big impact on learning. We hear from kids all the time who tell us what a difference it makes to know that everyone is behind them, working together to help them grow from their mistakes and get even better."

According to Wilson, students in West Woods Upper Elementary School are able to understand that when class material gets difficult, they can "tap" into their growth mindset to avoid giving up.

Wilson says the overall mentality that school administrators should encourage students to have is:

"I actually did pretty well on the test and I’m really proud of that because I had a growth mindset during that, and I put myself in a position where I could succeed."

To see Mindset Man in action, check out the video below.

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Read Wilson’s full article here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

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