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New Resources Developed to Help Mentors Encourage Growth Mindsets

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 City Year and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership have released new resources designed to help mentors encourage growth mindsets in the youths they work with.

The Growth Mindset for Mentors Toolkit, piloted this year by 200 City Year AmeriCorps members in Columbus, Ohio, and in Miami, will be refined with feedback from those early adopters to help make it more valuable to other mentors, the organizations said in a blog post about the work. In the pilot phase, 98 percent of mentors agreed or strongly agreed that the resources were "valuable to their role as mentors to struggling students," that post said.

As I explained recently, "people with growth mindsets recognize that the brain can grow and change through effort, and they embrace failures as opportunities for developing new strategies and approaches to learning content and concepts they find challenging." Stanford researcher Carol Dweck believes this viewpoint can help students become more engaged in the classroom and overcome stereotype threat that may keep them from succeeding.

Growth mindset work is a natural fit for mentors, leaders of City Year and MENTOR wrote in their blog post.

"We believe that applying a growth mindset to mentoring relationships can help student development in many ways: cognitively, by helping inform their decision-making process; socially and emotionally, by helping them manage and deal with emotions and conflict; and in identity development, by modeling behaviors and showing students what they might be able to achieve in the future," the post says.

The resources were developed as part of the U.S. Department of Education's Mentoring Mindsets Initiative in cooperation between the two organizations and Stanford's Project for Education Research that Scales, or PERTS Lab.  

The toolkit includes 12 online lessons that explain growth mindset research and how it applies in mentoring environments. Check it out here.

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