Fixing the fixed mindset: Promoting a growth mindset in social work education


  • Hawa Matthews Massey University, Whitireia New Zealand, WelTec


growth mindset, social work education, social work mindset


One of the aims of social work education is to facilitate learners to develop skills of critical

thinking. Having a growth mindset opens greater possibilities to develop the skills and enhance

commitment to lifelong learning. In contrast, students and educators who possess a fixed

mindset focus on performance and less on learning. Furthermore, people with a fixed mindset

tend to engage in defensive behaviours and respond negatively to feedback. This article explores

the existing knowledge on both fixed mindset and growth mindset relevant to social work

education and my reflection as a learner and educator. It also offers some possible ideas to

increase self-awareness for social work learners, educators, and education providers.