Challenging Mindset

Why a Growth Mindset Makes a Difference in Learning – and What to Do When It Doesn’t

By James Nottingham, Bosse Larsson (2018)

“Nottingham and Larsson’s new book is accessible and inviting. It will help you navigate the world of mindset concepts and research, and focus on actions that can have high impact. I respect these authors and enjoyed the clarity and good humour they bring to their book--as will you. I highly recommend Challenging Mindset.”
Professor Carol Dweck, Author of Mindset, Stanford University, USA

Highlights of the book include:
  • A detailed and nuanced examination of how mindset works and what you can do to make it more effective for your students
  • Refreshing honesty about the criticisms of growth mindset and the problems you are likely to encounter during translation and implementation
  • A level-headed review of effect sizes and the ways in which they can and can’t be used to support or criticise growth mindset
  • A to-do list for leaders and teachers to help you make your school or classroom a place in which students (and staff) are able to flourish
  • Insights into why praising ‘effort’ can be powerful but also problematic, with an identification of what type of praise is best
  • An examination of the links between growth mindset, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and collective efficacy
  • Ways to turn mistakes and failure into opportunities for deep learning
Buy from Booktopia Buy from Amazon
Downloads Reviews
"Changing mindsets is hard – but if it can be done, the directions are throughout this wonderful book. The book talks about when, how, and where growth mindsets matter, and it brings a refreshing perspective to this important but often misunderstood notion."
John Hattie, Professor & Director, Melbourne Education Research Institute University of Melbourne

“Changing mindsets is hard – but if it can be done, the directions are throughout this wonderful book.  The book talks about when, how, and where growth mindsets matter, and it brings a refreshing perspective to this important but often misunderstood notion.”

John Hattie, Professor & Director, Melbourne Education Research Institute University of Melbourne

What makes this book different?

Nottingham and Larsson have co-presented with Carol Dweck on more than 25 occasions since 2010. These experiences, together with the work of Challenging Learning around the world, have given them the rarest of insights into the subtleties and implications of Professor Dweck’s work.  This is a detailed, thought-provoking and nuanced insight into how to create the right conditions for growth mindset to flourish.

Book Features

As Arthur Schopenhauer once said, “Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.” With that in mind, Challenging Mindset has several features to help navigate the book, including:

  • Margin notes with summaries of content and key points
  • Section numbers to support navigation and cross-referencing (they also remain constant – unlike page numbers – when the book is translated into other languages)
  • ‘Now Try This’ sections to guide and support professional learning

Intended Audience

Suitable for teachers, leaders and support staff working with students between the ages of 7-19. For those working with 3-7-year-old children, you would be better reading ‘Challenging Early Learning’ by James Nottingham and Jill Nottingham (2017).

"Nottingham and Larsson provide a much-needed clarification of growth mindset, grounded in research and illustrated through relevant classroom examples. The authors provide practical tools and strategies to support educators in the correct application of mindset to impact student learning. A must read for all educators!"
Cathy Lassiter, Author, Everyday Courage for School Leaders, Virginia Beach VA
"Wow. Each one of the books in the Learning Challenge series deepens my understanding of how to be a better teacher, leader, and parent. We have all read the research on the importance of having a growth mindset but here lies a complete guide with visuals, strategies, and explanations for how to make it come to life in the classroom."
Julie Stern, Author, Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Washington DC
“James Nottingham and Bosse Larsson have masterfully deepened our understanding of Carol Dweck’s work and aligned her thinking to Nottingham’s work on the Learning Pit.”
JJulie Smith, Author, Evaluating Instructional Leadership, Pacific City OR
"Too often, theories such as mindset get reduced down to the simplest dichotomies and ideologies. Here, Nottingham and Larsson challenge our own mindset about the very idea of mindset theory itself, showing us what is possible if we really understand the theory and use it to challenge ourselves and our students."
Jim Burke, Teacher and Author, Common Core Companion Series, Burlingame High School CA

“Nottingham and Larsson provide a much-needed clarification of growth mindset, grounded in research and illustrated through relevant classroom examples. The authors provide practical tools and strategies to support educators in the correct application of mindset to impact student learning. A must read for all educators!”

Cathy Lassiter, Author, Everyday Courage for School Leaders, Virginia Beach VA

“Wow. Each one of the books in the Learning Challenge series deepens my understanding of how to be a better teacher, leader, and parent. We have all read the research on the importance of having a growth mindset but here lies a complete guide with visuals, strategies, and explanations for how to make it come to life in the classroom.”

Julie Stern, Author, Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Washington DC

“James Nottingham and Bosse Larsson have masterfully deepened our understanding of Carol Dweck’s work and aligned her thinking to Nottingham’s work on the Learning Pit.”

Julie Smith, Author, Evaluating Instructional Leadership, Pacific City OR

“Too often, theories such as mindset get reduced down to the simplest dichotomies and ideologies. Here, Nottingham and Larsson challenge our own mindset about the very idea of mindset theory itself, showing us what is possible if we really understand the theory and use it to challenge ourselves and our students.”

Jim Burke, Teacher and Author, Common Core Companion Series, Burlingame High School CA

Related Links

Interview with Carol Dweck & James Nottingham

Why Isn’t Growth Mindset Working (Yet)?

Professional Development for Growth Mindset

Blog Post: On Tour with Carol Dweck

Related Links