A mindset is a personal assertion about one’s qualities and abilities, and in her highly influential work, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck differentiates between a fixed and a growth mindset. Those that believe that they cannot make change have a fixed mindset. Those that believe that effort can change ability have a growth mindset. But what effect does mindset have on differentiation and feedback?

Carol Ann Tomlinson and Marcia Imbeau (Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom) connect teacher mindset to differentiation. They state that “differentiation is a growth mindset endeavor - it asks teachers to find an academic entry point relative to essential learning outcomes, to make instructional plans designed to move students to mastery of these outcomes, and to adopt a ‘whatever it takes’ approach in doing so.”

A teacher who believes that all students are capable of learning has a growth mindset. They are willing to differentiate their practice and feedback to promote positive outcomes in student success.

Spaces Tip

When offering feedback in SpacesEDU, consider the various media options - audio, video, photo, URL, personal file, or written. All of these options can help promote a differentiated practice that addresses learning challenges and appeals to strengths.

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