A puzzle piece labeled growth mindset is the perfect size to replace a gap labeled fixed mindset.

Using a growth mindset as the foundation for SEL

A growth mindset can help students embrace new learning opportunities and excel in SEL

Research continues to show the benefits of social-emotional learning (SEL), especially with elementary-age students. But as SEL gains ground, educators need to think about best practices for adding it to their classroom. One of those approaches includes using a growth mindset.

In “SEL and Academic Learning Catalyst: Growth Mindset,” presenters Dr. Desiree Margo, principal at Redmond Early Learning Center, and Dr. Kendra Coates, Growing Early Mindsets (GEM) author and professional learning specialist at Mindset Works, explain why a growth mindset is the strongest foundation for both SEL and academic learning. They caution, however, that both principles need to be integrated into the regular classroom and throughout school activities to achieve the best results.

Related: 10 signs you’re doing SEL right

First, Coates explains that in a growth mindset, all forms of intelligence abilities, skills, and talents are malleable. Rather than viewing mistakes or setbacks as a sign of low ability or intelligence, students and educators who embrace a growth mindset will actually view the challenge as an opportunity. They are inspired by the success of others and may use them as an impetus to work harder rather than seeing someone else’s success as a threat.

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