Growth mindset has been a huge topic in education circles since Carol Dweck published her book Mindset in 2006. While not necessarily a new concept, the data that Dweck was able to provide clearly established the links between a growth mindset and achievement. I’ve been incorporating growth mindset strategies in my classroom since I first began teaching and am often asked what are the best growth mindset books available to help teachers integrate it into their classrooms and in their own lives.
While I’m sure everyone has their favorite growth mindset resource, I’ve assembled a list of the best-selling books on growth mindset that, I hope, will give you some ideas about how to incorporate this philosophy in your classroom. Most of these books are geared specifically towards education but some aren’t. In no particular order, here are the best growth mindset books.
Updated for 2020
I come back to this article year after year to update it with new books as they are released or as I read them myself. I’m adding more books for students this year, along with books for teachers.
What Do You Do With a Chance by Kobi Yamada
In this story, a child discovers that it takes courage to take chances and say yes to new opportunities. But in the end, taking chances can lead to incredible experiences.
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
If you’re not familiar with the work of the incredible Brené Brown, it’s time you were. Here’s the TED Talk that launched her into the spotlight and inspired the book, Daring Greatly:
In Daring Greatly, Brown dispels the myth that vulnerability is a weakness and how it can be used as a tool to achieve greatness.
Check out this interview she did with Chase Jarvis:
Best Growth Mindset Books – Mindset by Carol Dweck
This is the book that formally established what a growth mindset really is and how it can help anyone achieve their potential. While Mindset was not written specifically about education, the concepts discussed in the book certainly apply to our students and can help them overcome struggles that they may have.
The latest edition includes new research that further validates the growth mindset philosophy. From the publisher:
After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.
In this edition, Dweck offers new insights into her now famous and broadly embraced concept. She introduces a phenomenon she calls false growth mindset and guides people toward adopting a deeper, truer growth mindset. She also expands the mindset concept beyond the individual, applying it to the cultures of groups and organizations. With the right mindset, you can motivate those you lead, teach, and love—to transform their lives and your own.
Best Growth Mindset Books – The Growth Mindset Coach & Playbook
Designed for teachers to implement a growth mindset in their classrooms, The Growth Mindset Coach offers monthly guides and lesson plans for teachers to use in their classrooms. This book is a consistent favorite with educators. I received my copy as a free gift at a conference about 18 months ago (SCORE!) and have used several of the ideas in my classroom.
From the publisher:
Created by teachers for teachers, this is the ultimate guide for unleashing students’ potential through creative lessons, empowering messages and innovative teaching. The Growth Mindset Coach provides all you need to foster a growth mindset classroom, including:
• A Month-by-Month Program
• Research-Based Activities
• Hands-On Lesson Plans
• Real-Life Educator Stories
• Constructive Feedback
• Sample Parent Letters
Studies show that growth mindsets result in higher test scores, improved grades, and more in-class involvement. When your students understand that their intelligence is not limited, they succeed like never before. With the tools in this book, you can motivate your students to believe in themselves and achieve anything.
Following the Growth Mindset Coach, the Growth Mindset Playbook provides more ideas for helping students realize their potential and succeed academically and socially.
With over 50 ready-to-use resources all focused on fostering growth mindsets, The Growth Mindset Classroom-Ready Resource Book, is your new go-to teaching assistant. These resilient- and grit-building ideas include:
- Interactive lesson plans
- Creative conversation starters
- Mindful reflection exercises
- Classroom management strategies
A perfect supplement for any teacher looking for additional support in banishing fixed mindsets and instilling a growth mindset culture in their classroom.
Best Growth Mindset Books – Grit by Angela Duckworth
While not specifically geared toward the education space, there are certainly a number of ideas in this book that are applicable to students and teachers alike.
Angela Duckworth’s TED Talk (with over 4 million views on YouTube) contains the essence of her book and the success stories that show that perseverance is a far greater indicator of success than “genius”.
From the publisher:
The daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Angela Duckworth is now a celebrated researcher and professor. It was her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience that led to her hypothesis about what really drives success: not genius, but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.
In Grit, she takes us into the field to visit cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, teachers working in some of the toughest schools, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers—from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.
Best Growth Mindset Books – Ready-to-Use Resources for Mindsets in the Classroom
From the publisher:
Ready-to-Use Resources for Mindsets in the Classroom provides educators with tools they need to help students change their thinking about their abilities and potential. The book features ready-to-use, interactive tools for students, teachers, parents, administrators, and professional development educators. Parent resources include a sample parent webpage and several growth mindset parent education tools. Other resources include:
– Mindset observation forms
– Student and teacher “look fors”
– Lists of books that contribute to growth mindset thinking
– Critical thinking strategy write-ups and samples
– A unique study guide for the original book that includes book study models from various schools around the country.
This book is perfect for schools looking to implement the ideas in Mindsets in the Classroom so that they can build a growth mindset learning environment. When students believe that dedication and hard work can change their performance in school, they grow to become resilient, successful students. This book contains many of the things that schools need to create a growth mindset school culture in which perseverance can lead to success!
Best Growth Mindset Books – Becoming a Growth Mindset School
From the publisher:
Becoming a Growth Mindset School explores the theories which underpin a growth mindset ethos and lays out how to embed them into the culture of a school. It offers step-by-step guidance for school leaders to help build an approach to teaching and learning that will encourage children to embrace challenge, persist in the face of setback, and see effort as the path to mastery. The book isn’t about quick fixes or miracle cures, but an evidence-based transformation of the way we think and talk about teaching, leading, and learning.
Drawing upon his own extensive experience and underpinned by the groundbreaking scholarship of Carol Dweck, Angela Duckworth, and others, Chris Hildrew navigates the difficulties, practicalities, and opportunities presented by implementing a growth mindset, such as:
- forming a growth mindset curriculum
- launching a growth mindset with staff
- marking, assessing, and giving feedback with a growth mindset
- growth mindset misconceptions and potential mistakes
- family involvement with a growth mindset.
Innovatively and accessibly written, this thoroughly researched guide shows how a growth mindset ethos benefits the whole school community, from its students and teachers to parents and governors. Becoming A Growth Mindset School will be of invaluable use to all educational leaders and practitioners.
Best Growth Mindset Books – Classroom Habitudes by Angela Maiers
From the publisher:
You know students need to acquire 21st-century skills. But how do you work those skills into the curriculum? Learn how to use the content you already teach to challenge students to think critically, collaborate with others, solve new problems, and adapt to change across new learning contexts. Help students build the seven habitudes–habits of disciplined decisions and specific attitudes–they need to succeed.
– Take advantage of simple, fast methods to teach critical 21st-century skills.
– Learn a set of transferable concepts that you can teach and students can apply across every grade level and discipline.
– Explore model lessons to help students become critical, creative, and strategic learners.
– Nurture self-motivation, a key ingredient for student achievement.
– Help students develop habits and attitudes that sustain effort and accomplishment both in and out of school.
– Use this new shared language to build a culture of learning.
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