Growth Mindset Toolkit

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About the Toolkit

With the support of the Raikes Foundation, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) has partnered with Stanford University’s Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS) Lab and City Year to develop and pilot the Growth Mindset for Mentors Toolkit.

This toolkit features information, tools and resources for mentors seeking to guide their mentees in cultivating perseverance, self-reflection, and positive decision-making, elements of a “growth mindset,” which can enrich their ability to learn and grow, especially in the face of challenges.

“Growth Mindset” is an important emerging concept among educators and youth development professionals alike. Coined by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, who pioneered this work, “growth mindset” describes the belief that intelligence is malleable rather than fixed. Dweck’s research indicates that when people possess a growth mindset, they tend to be more persistent and better equipped to respond positively to adversity in the learning process.

PERTS, a research center in the psychology department at Stanford University, developed the original Mindset Kits to illustrate the importance of these concepts to parents, teachers, and others interested in helping youth achieve school success. The Growth Mindset for Mentors Toolkit offers 17 lessons for mentors that apply the principles of growth mindset to their work with youth, and activities that help show youth that growth and learning is possible. These lessons cover such topics as:

  • What is Growth Mindset?
  • How Mentors Support Growth Mindset
  • Using Growth Mindset Language
  • Reframing Challenges, Failures and Mistakes

Access Toolkit

During the 2015-2016 school year, MENTOR and City Year teamed up to pilot the toolkit. City Year AmeriCorps members serving as mentors in schools applied the Growth Mindset for Mentors Toolkit to support student success. In response to the evaluation results from this pilot, additional lessons, handouts and tools were added to enhance the Toolkit. During the 2016-17 school year, MENTOR and PERTS will be working on an expanded pilot with City Year, Take Stock in Children and Citizen Schools to further evaluate the impact of the updated Toolkit. A universal implementation guide to help mentoring programs implement Growth Mindset programming is also in the works, and is slated for release in June 2017.