Head of School Blog

Laurence's Growth Mindset Culture


I feel very lucky and grateful to define my life around Laurence School - a place where the concept of a "growth mindset" is foundational to our school culture. Having a growth mindset, a term coined by Stanford professor Carol Dweck, Ph. D., means that you believe you can improve, learn and get better through your effort and hard work. You believe that talent and intelligence aren't fixed, but cultivated through learning and practice. We deliberately teach our students and encourage our faculty and staff to develop this mindset, which helps people view challenges and failures as learning opportunities. 
The growth mindset can be seen everywhere at Laurence - our students, faculty and staff are constantly coming up with new ideas, trying them out, learning from what went well and what didn't, and then trying again! We are all getting smarter and better every day through these efforts. Our students aren't afraid of trying new activities and challenges, and many of them take on multiple challenges at the same time. We have students who are not only athletes, but also in the school musical and our competitive Math Club. They work hard to do their best in all of these diverse areas - from meeting at lunchtime to prepare for math competitions to spending time outside of school memorizing their lines. Our students know that if they put in the effort and time, they will persevere. 
Perseverance is key to success both in school and in life! Angela Duckworth, another innovative educator whose research is foundational to Laurence, talks about the importance of perseverance and passion in her book, Grit. Duckworth, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, has found that grit is necessary for lifelong success and accomplishing long-term goals. Duckworth believes that the best way to cultivate grit is through having a growth mindset. Her latest blog discusses this concept. I always enjoy her blog, and I hope you will too! Read it here!
Have a happy and healthy holiday season!
With gratitude,