Creating a Growth Mindset Culture in the Classroom: How Teaching about Mistakes Can Inspire a Love of Learning


A colleague from KaiNexus sent me a photo from his daughter's third-grade classroom. It's titled “The Magic of Growth Mindset,” a reference to the concept and the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.

The Grade 3 students probably aren't reading Dweck's book, but there are children's books based on growth mindset concepts. One of those is The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett (and I interviewed him in the “My Favorite Mistake” podcast series.

The subtitle of the book is “A Growth Mindset Book for Kids to Promote Self Esteem.”

Our self esteem should ideally come from WHO we are, not what we do.

The pages that are part of the display … I'll start with the concepts most related to learning from mistakes (and I'm writing a book for adults about that subject now).

Mistakes help me grow

I had to look this up, but it makes sense for kids. The sign references a scene from a Harry Potter movie (and I've seen zero of those films, maybe my mistake).

I don't fear failure

Do you have the nerve to try something new?

When I practice, I see results

We can also be “Practicing Lean,” which is why I wrote a book (with 15 other people) on that theme.

Other themes include:

  • I can choose success
  • Everything worth doing takes effort
  • I value learning
  • My dreams won't work unless I do
  • I can improve: It matters NOT what someone is born, but what they grow to be
  • I can't do this yet
  • I can find the answer

I guess the signs and the drawings are all Harry Potter based.

Maybe this is all a good reminder to us, as adults, to try to grow our growth mindset as 2023 begins.

What can we do in our workplaces to promote growth mindset, including a culture of learning from mistakes?

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