Growth Mindsets to Increase Achievement – Podcast Episode 180 | Classnotes Podcast 180

Gregory Rivers and Rawan HammoudehClassnotes Podcast (March 7, 2018) School leaders around the country are seeing the dramatic impact that the concept of a growth mindset can have with students and staff. Researcher and psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck synthesized the understanding that, while a fixed mindset believes only some students can learn, a growth mindset is consistent with what research shows that all students learn, that the mind is always growing.

In this episode, Dr. Nilka Avilés talks with principal Gregory Rivers and assistant principal Rawan Hammoudeh about how they have led their staff with intentional development of a growth mindset that is directly impacting the success of students and teachers. Their school the San Antonio independent school district is participating in IDRA’s School TurnAround and Reenergizing for Success (STAARS) Leaders project. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education the project is a unique model that is building a strong pipeline of principals and leadership teams in a set of low performing schools in the district. Show length: 15:07 min.

Send comments to

Sign up to receive free e-mail notices when new episodes are available.


The Power of Partnerships in the Pursuit of Leadership Development to Transform Schools, by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., Joanelda De León, Ed.D., and Jesse Jay McNeil, Ed.D.

How Transformational Leaders Develop a Growth Mindset for Student Success, by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., Gerald Sharp, M.A., and Kristin Grayson, Ph.D.

What People are Saying about IDRA’s STAARS Leaders Project

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck, Learning Theories (book)

Mindset Theory: Fixed vs. Growth Mindset, by L. David, Learning Theories

Leaders Turn Around Schools – Transformational Equity Focus Makes College Readiness a Priority, by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., IDRA Newsletter

Mindset Theory: Fixed vs. Growth Mindset, by Carol S. Dweck, Learning Theories

Every Kid Needs a Champion, TED Talk by Rita Pierson

Your feedback

We welcome your comments and questions to the podcast. Use IDRA’s online form, or send an e-mail to

Listen to every episode!

To ensure you don’t miss a single episode of IDRA Classnotes, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, (download iTunes free if you don’t have it) or sign up to receive an e-mail alert as soon as a new show is published.


Show Notes

  • Nilka introduces the “growth mindset” concept, and how it can positively impact academic achievement.

  • Greg talks about his work with teachers to develop a vision of students that includes this growth mindset, and Rawan shares a success story of administrators successfully putting this approach into practice with groups of at-risk students.

  • Greg and Rawan give examples of teachers modeling a growth mindset in the classroom through “aggressive monitoring,” which focuses and builds on students’ small successes.

  • Greg shares his plan for building teacher capacity and a shared language around a growth mindset.