Understanding fixed and growth mindsets

Mindsets are the series of beliefs people hold about themselves, which determine their behaviour, outlook and attitude. This lesson explores the concepts of ‘failure’ and ‘mindset’ and helps students understand the importance of approaching tasks and challenges with a growth mindset. This is critical for students' development of resilience and confidence when approaching new tasks.

Year Level



60 minutes


  • In class activity

SEL Competencies

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness

Learning Intention

Students understand that learning happens through failure, effort and hard work, and that a growth mindset is the key to this process and to making progress.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • understand that the language and self-talk we use can assist in developing and improving how we learn
  • recognise that failing is a necessary part of learning
  • recognise that both a fixed and a growth mindset are possible in different contexts
  • understand that we can change our mindset.
Activity 01

Class discussion: What are mindsets? 10 min

  1. Hand out or provide access to the ReachOut.com article 'How to challenge a fixed mindset'.
  2. Ask students:
    • What is a mindset?
    • What determines our mindsets?
    • How can we develop a growth mindset?
    • Why is it important to think about how we think?