Growth Mindset Incubator: A Case Study


Liz Katz
NAC Architecture

Faith Eakin
Lead Program Manager
Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas (BFI)

BFI/Public School
Student TBD


Learning Units (LU)

How applies to HSW:

Imagine the possibility of literally being transported into a new type of learning environment where there are endless possibilities. Growth Mindset is an idea developed by Stanford researcher Carrol Dweck Ð opposing the idea of the Fixed Mindset which asserts that people are born with certain characteristics (i.e. – being smart, strong, kind, adventuresome, or not), and they donÕt really change. Growth Mindset allows a person to believe in the possibility of changing their pre-conceived characteristics. It allows students to recognize and see through stereotypes.   ÒA growth mindset is the belief that you can develop your abilities through hard work; good strategies; and input, help, and mentoring from others.” ÑCarol Dweck     The concept of Growth Mindset is becoming more widely used in education among teachers and students, and is consistently being improved and applied in both educational theory and practice. Challenges exist in transferring the language and strategies taught through a growth-mindset approach to everyday interactions with teachers, parents, and others outside the classroom. How can a child apply Growth Mindset tools in a society that is still full of stereotypes? The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas (BFI), an educational non-profit in Seattle, fosters an environment that gives students the confidence to take Growth Mindset into the real world. They are also striving to bridge this disconnect by building a Growth Mindset environment outside of school that reinforces these core concepts for students, families, and community volunteers, encouraging students to apply Growth Mindset even more broadly.   Our presentation will outline the concept of Growth Mindset v. Fixed Mindset and how to overcome what Claude M. Steele calls the Threat of Stereotypes. We will show how Growth Mindset is working in BFIÕs after school tutoring program. The audience will hear from the Lead Program Manager at BFI, Faith Eakin, on how they are creating programs that motivate and inspire kids to learn and want to return again and again. The audience will also hear firsthand from a public school student who applies their learning from BFI. They will also share ideas on how Growth mindset could be incorporated into a larger school setting. Liz Katz with NAC Architecture will explore how the design of BFIÕs unique learning environment promotes social and emotional learning, and share strategies to create Growth Mindset incubators in both new and existing schools.

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand the difference between Growth Mindset v. Fixed Mindset;
  • Understand how to recognize hidden biases and avoid the Threat of Stereotypes
  • See how both Growth Mindset and Social and Emotional Learning are being used by teachers and students at the Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas;
  • Understand how Growth Mindset incubatorsÑspaces that support social and emotional learningÑcan be incorporated in both new and existing schools
Primary Competency:

Educational Visioning:Ê Exhibits an understanding of best and next practices related to educationalleadership, programming, teaching, learning, planning and facility design. Establishes credibility with educators, community members and design professionals while conceiving and leading a community-based visioning process. Demonstrates the ability to articulate the impact of learning environments on teaching and learning and uses that ability to facilitate a dialogue that uncovers the unique needs and long-range goals of an educational institution and its stakeholders Ð translating that into an actionable written/graphic program of requirements for the design practitioner.

Primary Domain:

Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.

Secondary Domain:

Toolbox: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the approaches, methods and applications when transitioning from design and concept into reality, actual existence through quality performance, execution and/or product.


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