By: Edline Blot, 1st Grade Teacher; Kirstyn Fletcher, Assistant Teacher; Rossana Mahvi, Assistant Principal; and Erica Marcus, English Teacher

“…typically we limit our vision of who can productively use data: school leaders, coaches, and teachers.  Students are left out.  When students are equipped to analyze data for their own learning…the power of data as an engine for growth is centered where it has the greatest potential to improve learning- with students” (Berger, 2014, 95-96).  
Using data with students is crucial for building a growth mindset in students and ultimately enhancing their growth as learners. Growth mindset is the belief that intelligence can be developed through effort, practice, and hard work.  It puts the emphasis on working hard and teaches students to value effort and embrace challenges.  This stands in stark contrast to a “fixed mindset,” in which students believe their traits are set in stone and they have no control over their performance. In this framework, it’s born intelligence and out of their hands (Dweck, 2009). Developing a growth mindset isn’t just about feel-good fluffy stuff. Ultimately, the kind of mindset students have directly translates into classroom and academic success.  Carol Dweck, a professor of Psychology at Stanford University (2013) found that seventh grade students with a fixed mindset saw their math scores fall over two years, while those with a growth mindset rose during that same period. It is critical that students are supported in developing this belief system, both for their personal and academic growth.