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Wednesday / July 26

11 Books to Foster a Growth Mindset

11 Books to Foster a Growth Mindset

Welcome to 2017!

This year we will explore many themes, from equity to personalizing professional development to school culture, addressed by a wide arrange of voices: thought leaders, practitioners, researchers… We want to bring you the most up-to-date research, practical tips, and big ideas about what works in education.

We thought there would be no better way to start the year than by exploring the concept of a Growth Mindset. The term coined by Carol Dweck has led to much discussion (and confusion) about what it means to both embody and model a growth mindset, and how to design instruction so that students develop a growth mindset as well. The books below all have a different take on answering these questions.

As you start the year, I encourage you to explore the following books and contribute to the conversation!

  1. High Expectations Teaching by Jon SaphierHigh Expectations Teaching

For all the productive conversation around “mindsets,” what’s missing are the details of how to convince our discouraged and underperforming students that “smart is something you can get.” Until now.

With the publication of High-Expectations Teaching, Jon Saphier reveals once and for all evidence that the bell curve of ability is plain wrong—that ability is something that can be grown significantly if we can first help students to believe in themselves.

Culturally Responsive Teaching and the BrainRecommended by Program Director Dan Alpert

  1. Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond 

This groundbreaking book explores the neuroscience of academic mindsets and offers practical guidance on shifting these mindsets in the learning partnership.

Recommended by Program Director Dan AlpertThe Learning Challenge

  1. The Learning Challenge by James Nottingham

The Learning Challenge is a process of inquiry designed to put students in the “pit”—a state of cognitive conflict where they must wrestle with conflicting ideas in order to deepen their understanding. Students learn that challenge leads to deeper learning—and they learn to welcome opportunities to inquire, explore, and reflect.

Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, SecondaryRecommended by Acquisitions Editor Ariel Bartlett

  1. Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Secondary by Julie Stern, Krista Ferraro, and Juliet Mohnkern

Our standards stress the importance of students learning concepts and the relationships between concepts—not just memorizing a list of facts. This book shows teachers how to help students uncover concepts and transfer understanding to new situations and examples. These skills will prepare students to confidently approach new problems and innovate to solve them.

Recommended by Acquisitions Editor Ariel Bartlett

  1. Releasing Leadership Brilliance by Simon Bailey and Marceta ReillyReleasing Leadership Brilliance

To successfully move any school or district from mediocrity to brilliance requires an open, creative view and focus to overcome educational inertia and reach new heights of achievement. The authors use the four forces of flight as a powerful metaphor:

  • Weight: Reveal your Personal Brilliance through self-discovery
  • Lift: Expand Leadership Brilliance through collaboration with all stakeholders
  • Thrust: Drive Team Brilliance by encouraging smart risks and designing potent changes
  • Momentum: Tap into Student Brilliance by unleashing imagination, resilience, and hope

Recommended by Executive Editor Arnis Burvikovs

  1. Teaching Kids to ThriveTeaching Kids to Thrive by Debbie Silver and Dedra Stafford 

Thrive skills go beyond basic academic measurements and simply enduring the education marathon to teach students about lifelong success. This book will empower learners who are not only self-smart but people-smart. In addition to enhancing students’ methods for assimilating new information and handling interpersonal challenges, other benefits include:

  • Using mindfulness strategies to help students access their inner strengths
  • Helping students build upon their existing ability to self-regulate and motivate
  • Developing students’ growth mindsets to visualize their goals and make plans to meet them
  • Cultivating an attitude and culture of perseverance

Recommended by Executive Editor Arnis Burvikovs

  1. Visible Learning for Mathematics by John Hattie, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, Linda M. Gojak, Sara Delano Moore, and William MelmanVisible Learning for Mathematics

A growth mindset in mathematics is especially critical, and so many students (and teachers) struggle to apply their growth mindset when it comes to mathematics teaching and learning…even when they can successfully do so in other areas. Visible Learning for Mathematics not only discusses the importance of a growth mindset in mathematics explicitly, but perhaps just as important is this: the book itself is founded in the idea that as educators we have to think about what works best, when and how, and put our hearts and minds into focusing on those things in order to achieve the growth in learning we hope to see. Educators who can do this are those who have a growth mindset about their own mathematics teaching practice.

Recommended by Acquisitions Editor Erin Null

  1. Visible Learning for Literacy, Grades K-12Visible Learning for Literacy, Grades K-12 and Teaching Literacy in the Visible Learning Classroom, Grades K-5 bTeaching Literacy in the Visible Learning Classroom, Grades K-5y John Hattie, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey

How do I influence students’ learning–what’s going to generate that light bulb Aha-moment of understanding? 

Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie help you answer that question by sharing structures and tools for effective literacy instruction that have high-impact on learning—and insights on which stage of learning they have that high impact.

Recommended by Corwin Literacy Senior Program Director and Publisher Lisa Luedeke

  1. Mindsets and MovesMindsets and Moves by Gravity Goldberg

In Mindsets & Moves, Gravity Goldberg turns the research on growth mindset into four daily practices for guiding readers. Teachers mine to discover students’ strengths, they mirror by giving feedback that reinforces a growth mindset, they model to show readers the possibilities to grow into, and they mentor as readers stretch and try new creative and intellectual moves.

Recommended by Senior Acquisitions Editor Wendy MurrayThe Education Revolution

  1. The Education Revolution by Horatio Sanchez

Brain research has long shown the power of a positive mindset. It helps the brain consider new ideas without passing quick judgement. In addition, adolescents who feel confident that life events are under their control and who have positive and realistic expectations for the future tend to perform better in school. This book provides educators with many ideas that will foster a growth mindset in the areas of academics and social environment and even physical well-being.

Recommended by Program Director Jessica Allan

  1. Quality Questioning, 2nd EditionQuality Questioning, 2nd Edition by Jackie Acree Walsh and Beth Dankert Sattes

Low-achieving students require more feedback, both affirming and corrective, because they often lack a growth mindset. In this book educators learn a six-part framework that empowers and engages all learners. The book provides many examples of effective feedback strategies that teachers can use, with an explanation of the intended effect of each type and suggestions as to when to employ each type.

Recommended by Program Director Jessica Allan

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Written by

Ariel is the Acquisitions Editor for Technology and General Methods at Corwin, and editor of Corwin Connect. When not working, you can usually find Ariel doing yoga at the beach, reading with a glass of wine, or writing a book review on her blog, One Little Library.

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Latest comment

  • Great teacher’s texts. What about children’s picture books that teachers can use as read-alouds to foster a growth mindset? Let’s start a collection of them in the classroom for both students and teachers to use. Growing Smarter is one about perseverance, critical thinking, and problem-solving. It even explains how the brain is like a muscle that gets stronger (and smarter) when learning occurs!

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