Instilling a Growth Mindset in Students

(Grades K-12) / Semester Course

PDI Course Number: 115BXX / UCSD Course Number: EDUC40265


Course Description

Are you finding that no matter how hard you try, it seems that some of your students cannot break out of the "I'm no good at this" cycle, and therefore they stop trying? After all, perhaps they are just not "math people" or "good at reading," right? Wrong! This online course is designed for K-12 teachers who wish to explore the concept of growth mindset in detail. Teachers will be introduced to the process of instilling a growth mindset in students as well as teaching students strategies for becoming confident risk-takers. Specific topics in the course include learning how to make mistakes meaningful, the importance of feedback during the learning process, the role growth mindset plays in both literacy and mathematics, and how to integrate the growth mindset model in a data-driven classroom. Teachers will learn how to ask better questions so that students are supported as they work through productive struggle. Teachers will also understand the connection between growth mindset and social-emotional skills. By the end of this course, teachers will feel more confident in implementing growth mindset practices into their teaching repertoire. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"The content of this course helped me to better understand how to help my students struggle productively and the kind of language I can use to support a growth mindset in my classroom." - Moira Kaufhold

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$170 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD Extension

$366 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UC San Diego.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.



Required Resource Book

This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List



UCSD Course Number: EDUC40265
Unit One
  • What is growth mindset?
  • The History of Growth Mindset
  • Discovering Your Mindset
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography/Write an article reflection
Unit Two
  • The Role of Memory in Developing a Growth Mindset
  • Undoing What's Been Done
  • Learning to Learn: The Role of Self-Efficacy
  • Assignment #2: Design a classroom activity to foster self-efficacy
Unit Three
  • Promoting Growth Mindset in Students
  • Making Mistakes Meaningful
  • Integrating the Mindset Model in a Data-Driven Classroom
  • Assignment #3: Create an activity that uses mistakes to foster a growth mindset
Unit Four
  • The Role of Growth Mindset in Literacy
  • Using Literature for Dynamic Learning Frames and Growth Mindset
  • Feedback that Fosters a Growth Mindset
  • Assignment #4: Respond to classroom scenarios
Unit Five
  • The Role of Growth Mindset in Mathematics
  • Using Think-Alouds and Language Frames to Model Growth
  • Making Questions Matter
  • Assignment #5: Create a math lesson that sparks a growth mindset
Unit Six
  • Growth Mindset and Its Link to Social-Emotional Learning
  • The Role of Growth Mindset in the Development of Social and Soft Skills
  • Encouraging Growth Through Productive Struggle
  • Assignment #6: Modify a lesson to include a focus on an intangible trait
  • Assignment #7: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)


Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

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