By definition, you cannot have a growth mindset when learning is anchored to standardized tests.

Standardized tests are a one game long season and your team has a 70% chance of losing. There is no room for growth when the results are predetermined. You can try again, but you have to wait until the next season and demonstrate growth in a different sport (content changes drastically each year).

Growth mindset is far more than simply telling a child “not yet” or “keep going.” It is a philosophical shift in thinking. It is more than the little white book that collects dust on the bookshelves of teachers nationwide, or the YouTube videos played in faculty meetings. Growth mindset requires a complete overhaul to grading, approach, curricula, assessment…

The approach can and does work, but only if carefully thought out and given time. The goal is not to walk away with a better grade, but for the student to walk away with a better understanding.

To simply say you have a growth mindset does not mean you actually have one. Education is overwhelmed with fad ideas crafted in the boardroom and passed down. It is time the ideas from the classrooms start making their way up.

What growth mindset looks like depends on the buy-in of schools and their communities, not corporations and their tests.