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- all of which are 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:
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 expanded the pilot with City Year and added program partners Take Stock in Children and Citizen Schools to further evaluate the impact of the updated Toolkit.
The Implementation Guide offers topics to consider and recommendations for how mentoring programs can incorporate the Growth Mindset for Mentors Toolkit into organizational procedures and support mentors in employing its strategies. This Guide explores how programs can prepare for and use the Toolkit, particularly in regard to staff roles, timelines, training, and match support.
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A growth mindset is beneficial for all of us, so this guide is intended to be universally applicable to all mentoring models serving all ages, and contains tips for both local, independent mentoring programs as well as national organizations implementing a growth mindset initiative across multiple sites. The Guide was developed based on feedback from and the experiences of: Citizen Schools, City Year, Take Stock in Children (both national and local sites), Spark, and Mentoring Works Washington.