Shifting mindsets: Transforming self, school, and society

Palgrave handbook of positive education


We are living at a time of profound disruption which is calling on all of us to show up and make a contribution that serves the wellbeing of all. A central aspect of making such a contribution is the capacity to shift our mindsets towards more caring, inclusive, and interdependent perspectives. This chapter explores mindset in an educational context. We begin with a general overview of mindset theory and examine the relationship between mindsets and the unfolding of human potential. Then we explore fixed and growth mindset theory in education, which is primarily focused on learning, achievement, and improvement. Next, we evolve this focus to include benefit mindset theory, which integrates leadership, contribution, and transformation, and focuses on how we can recognise our interdependence with the living Earth community, turn towards our individual and collective shadows, and realise our unique potential in a way that serves the wellbeing of all. To support educators with facilitating mindset shifts in their learning communities, we include a table of 10 mindset transformations, and include practical examples of how each transformation can be facilitated. By shifting our mindsets in ways that are concerned with serving the wellbeing of all, those shifts can ripple out through our lives and the world in ways that are remarkable.

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Reference: Buchanan A., Greig J. (2021) Shifting Mindsets: Transforming Self, School, and Society. In: Kern M.L., Wehmeyer M.L. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Positive Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.