10 Ways To Help Students Develop A Growth Mindset Through Inquiry-Based Learning

Aug 6, 2017 | Growth Mindset

10 Ways To Help Students Develop A Growth Mindset Through Inquiry-Based Learning

by ThoughtStretchers Education Staff,

Fostering a growth mindset is a powerful tool to help students achieve their full potential. Coined by psychologist Carol Dweck, a growth mindset is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through hard work, dedication, and learning. This mindset can empower students to embrace challenges, persevere through setbacks, and ultimately excel academically and personally. As an educator, you play a pivotal role in helping your students develop a growth mindset, and one effective way to achieve this is through inquiry-based learning.

  1. Teach the Science Behind the Mindset

Start by explaining the concept of a growth mindset to your students within the context of inquiry-based learning. Discuss how their brains are similar in some way to muscles that can grow stronger with effort and practice. Help them understand that intelligence is not fixed but can be expanded through learning, self-discovery, and the process of inquiry. By demystifying the concept, students are more likely to embrace it and apply it to their inquisitive journeys.

  1. Encourage a Positive Classroom Environment

Create a classroom culture that values effort and learning through inquiry. Praise students for their hard work, dedication to exploring new questions, and their active engagement in the learning process. When you celebrate their growth as inquisitive thinkers, they’ll be more inclined to adopt a growth mindset.

  1. Embrace Challenges Through Inquiry

Encourage your students to step out of their comfort zones and take on challenging questions that may seem intimidating at first. Show them that failure is a part of the inquiry process, and it’s okay to make mistakes in the pursuit of knowledge. The key is to learn from these experiences, adapt their inquiries, and keep moving forward.

  1. Set Realistic Inquiry-Based Goals

Help your students set attainable goals within the context of their inquiries and guide them in breaking these goals down into smaller, manageable steps. This allows them to see progress more clearly within their inquiries and experience a sense of accomplishment along the way.

  1. Foster a Love of Learning Through Inquiry

Instill a genuine love for learning through the process of inquiry. Show enthusiasm for the inherent curiosity of your subject matter, and let students see that learning is an exciting journey of exploration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Encourage questions, experimentation, and the joy of discovery.

  1. Provide Constructive Feedback in Inquiry

When giving feedback within the context of inquiry-based learning, focus on the effort and strategies students used to explore their questions, rather than solely on the outcome. Offer constructive guidance on how they can improve their inquiry skills and what they can do differently in their next investigation. This helps them understand that the process of inquiry is as important as the end result.

  1. Model a Growth Mindset in Inquiry

Lead by example by demonstrating a growth mindset within your own inquiry pursuits. Show your students that you, too, are a lifelong learner, willing to make mistakes, adapt, and continuously improve in your own inquiries. Share your own experiences of facing challenges and overcoming them through inquiry. This vulnerability will resonate with your students and inspire them to adopt a similar mindset in their explorations.

  1. Teach Resilience in Inquiry

Help students understand that setbacks and unanswered questions are a natural part of the inquiry process. Teach them strategies for bouncing back from inquiry failures, like revising their approach, seeking alternative sources of information, and persistently questioning. Resilience is a crucial component of a growth mindset in the context of inquiry.

  1. Encourage Self-Reflection in Inquiry

Prompt students to reflect on their progress and learning experiences within their inquiries regularly. Encourage them to identify what inquiry strategies worked well and which ones could be improved. Self-reflection helps students become more self-aware, adaptable, and effective in their inquiries.

  1. Supportive Parent Involvement in Inquiry

Engage with parents and guardians to ensure they understand the concept of a growth mindset and the role of inquiry-based learning. Encourage them to reinforce these principles at home, creating a consistent message for students as they embark on their inquisitive journeys.

Helping your students develop a growth mindset through inquiry-based learning benefits not only their academic success but also their overall well-being and curiosity about the world. By fostering a culture of effort, resilience, and a love for learning through inquiry, you empower your students to reach their full potential. As an educator, you have the incredible opportunity to inspire and shape the minds of the future, and nurturing a growth mindset within the context of inquiry-based learning is one of the most valuable gifts you can offer them.


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