Can raising expectations help students build a growth mindset?

 //  Sep 19, 2014

Can raising expectations help students build a growth mindset?

We've blogged several times about the importance of students having a growth mindset (rather than a fixed mindset) about their intelligence -- helping them understand that effort and practice, rather than a fixed intelligence trait, lead to success.

But what happens when you raise expectations and raise standards? You might think that would be de-motivating to students, especially the ones who are struggling.

In this video, Carol Dweck, the researcher behind the growth mindset theory, makes an interesting point about raising expectations.

You might have heard the need for higher standards presented like this: "We're raising expectations because students aren't achieving at a level high enough to succeed beyond high school." What if presented it like this? "We're setting these high expectations because we think you can meet them."

Students won't succeed unless they first believe they can.