How Our High School Programs Cultivate a Growth Mindset

Greg Twemlow
6 min readApr 30, 2024

Cultivating a Growth Mindset through SEVENmile’s Enterprise in the Community High School Programs

The underlying theme is evident in every aspect of the “Enterprise in the Community” workshop: growth is a continual process shaped by curiosity, resilience, and adaptability.

Thomas Wright’s An Original Theory or New Hypothesis of the Universe 1750 by Greg Twemlow
Thomas Wright’s 1750 perspective of a Growth Mindset by Greg Twemlow

At the heart of our educational philosophy at SEVENmile is the belief that the best learning experiences mirror real-life challenges and encourage active, hands-on engagement. It was from this belief that the “Enterprise in the Community” workshop was born — a program that, quite by serendipity, aligns perfectly with the principles of a Growth Mindset**.

Embracing Challenges as Opportunities: Each SEVENmile workshop session is designed to challenge students intellectually and push them beyond their comfort zones emotionally and socially. For instance, when faced with solving real community problems, students quickly learn that the first step is not to seek answers but to understand the depth and breadth of the issues at hand. This shift — from a quick-fix mindset to a deep-dive analytical approach — encourages them to see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow rather than obstacles to avoid.

Learning from Setbacks: The SEVENmile workshop incorporates iterative feedback loops, where students present their solutions, receive feedback, and are given time to revise their approaches. This process mimics the real world, where few things are right on the first try, and failure is often the best teacher. By experiencing this cycle, students internalize that each setback is a setup for a greater comeback, fundamentally embodying the growth mindset.

Effort as the Pathway to Mastery: We make it clear to our students that effort is indispensable. Whether brainstorming solutions, engaging with community leaders, or presenting their final ideas, the emphasis is always on effort and improvement. We celebrate progress, no matter how small, and encourage reflection on what worked, what didn’t, and how strategies can be improved. This continuous loop of action, reflection, and perseverance teaches students that mastery is a journey, not a destination.

Inspiration from the Success of Peers: One of the most impactful aspects of our workshop is the communal learning environment. Students see their peers’ successes and improvements firsthand, which is a powerful motivator. Rather than fostering an atmosphere of competition, our workshop encourages a culture of shared growth and learning, where one student’s success fuels another’s aspirations.

Constructive Feedback as a Tool for Growth: Throughout the workshop, feedback is not just given by instructors but is actively sought by students from their peers and community stakeholders. This culture of constructive critique helps students understand that feedback is not a judgment but a tool for growth — a fundamental aspect of the growth mindset.

The underlying theme is evident in every aspect of the “Enterprise in the Community” workshop: growth is a continual process shaped by curiosity, resilience, and adaptability. By engaging students in real-world problems and encouraging a mindset that values growth over perfection, we prepare them for academic success and a successful life.

*Training Year 9–11 students to embrace a Growth Mindset has profound outcomes that extend well beyond their school years into higher education and their future careers. Here are some of the key benefits and outcomes of this educational approach:

  1. Enhanced Academic Performance: Students with a growth mindset believe their intellectual abilities can be developed. This belief empowers them to approach challenges with resilience and persistence, often leading to better academic outcomes. They are more prepared to persevere through complex tasks, viewing setbacks as learning opportunities rather than signs of failure.
  2. Increased Motivation and Engagement: Students who understand that effort and dedication can significantly improve their abilities will likely be more motivated and engaged in their learning processes. This intrinsic motivation drives them to seek new knowledge and skills rather than passively participate in educational activities.
  3. Improved Problem-Solving Skills: A growth mindset encourages creative problem-solving and critical thinking. Students learn to experiment with different strategies and explore multiple solutions. This flexibility in thinking makes them better at solving complex problems, a skill highly valuable in academic settings and the workplace.
  4. Better Emotional and Social Skills: Embracing a growth mindset helps students develop resilience, reducing stress and anxiety related to performance pressures. It fosters a positive social environment as students learn to give and receive constructive feedback, support their peers, and collaborate effectively. These emotional and social skills are crucial for personal and professional success.
  5. Long-term Academic and Career Flexibility: Students trained in a growth mindset are better prepared for the ever-changing demands of the workforce. They are more adaptable and open to continuous learning, essential traits in a rapidly evolving global economy. This adaptability also makes them more equipped to handle career transitions and pursue lifelong learning opportunities.
  6. Cultivation of Leadership Qualities: Growth mindset training helps cultivate leadership qualities in students, including the ability to face challenges head-on, inspire and motivate others, and learn from both successes and failures. These qualities are essential for effective leadership in any field.
  7. Development of a Lifelong Learning Attitude: One of the most significant outcomes is the instillation of a lifelong learning attitude. Students learn to love learning, not just for grades or immediate outcomes but as an ongoing personal growth process.

SEVENmile believes that training students to adopt a growth mindset creates a foundation of resilience, curiosity, and adaptability, preparing them for academic success, future careers, and personal lives. This training reshapes how they perceive challenges and opportunities, ensuring they confidently approach life and proactively.

SEVENmile Ltd Essence of Innovation logo by Greg Twemlow
SEVENmile Ltd Essence of Innovation logo by Greg Twemlow

**The “Growth Mindset” concept is a psychological theory developed by Dr. Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford University. It contrasts with a “fixed mindset” and is part of her broader research on motivation, personality, and development. Here are some key aspects of the growth mindset:

  1. Belief in Development: The growth mindset revolves around believing that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. This contrasts with a fixed mindset, where abilities are seen as static and unchangeable.
  2. Embrace of Challenges: Individuals with a growth mindset are more likely to embrace challenges and see them as opportunities to learn and grow. They are not discouraged by failures but use them as a learning experience.
  3. Persistence in the Face of Setbacks: Those with a growth mindset show resilience in overcoming obstacles. Instead of giving up when faced with difficulties, they persist through setbacks, viewing them as part of the learning process.
  4. Effort as a Path to Mastery: In a growth mindset, effort is essential for mastery and improvement. The emphasis is on improving oneself through continuous effort and learning.
  5. Learning from Criticism: Feedback and constructive criticism are valuable for learning in the growth mindset. Rather than being defensive, individuals with a growth mindset use feedback to improve their skills.
  6. Inspiration from Others’ Success: Instead of feeling threatened by others’ success, people with a growth mindset find inspiration and lessons in their achievements.

This concept has significant implications for education, leadership, and personal development. Cultivating a growth mindset can lead to greater achievement and increased innovation. It aligns well with educational strategies that focus on developing perseverance and resilience in students.

About the author: Greg Twemlow, Co-Founder of Future Skills Studio and Member of Medium 200-Club.

Greg Twemlow

Greg Twemlow: fostering interdisciplinary dialogues and continuously exploring the interplay between technology, particularly GenAI, education, ethics, and philosophy, and, since 2018, CEO of Future Skills Studio, focused on experiential learning programs for young people.



Greg Twemlow

Pioneering AI-Enhanced Educational Strategies | Champion of Lifelong Learning & Student Success in the GenAI Era