[semester equivalent = 4.00 credits]



Brenda McKinney



As of June 13 Closed to New Registrations

If you are looking for a refreshing change of pace, this course is for you! Written by psychologist, Carol Dweck, Mindset, focuses on research that shows the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you live your life. This has huge implications for all educators and their students.

How can a simple belief have the power to transform thinking? Take this course to find out. With the right mindset, you can motivate kids, help raise their grades and accept more challenges. You will have the opportunity to look at the differences between Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets. With lively You Tube videos to accompany different sections, you will be delighted with the high interest level of this course.

Transform ordinary students into students with a passion and motivation for learning. Better yet, take time to reflect on your own life and look at how you might stretch your own mindset. Appropriate for all K-12 teachers, coaches, and parents.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. Understood what people think about intelligence and mindset
  2. Defined and understood fixed and growth mindsets and their effect on learning.
  3. Developed a plan to assist students focus on learning and development and not just on performance.
  4. Developed strategies that enhance learning and accomplishment.
  5. Discovered ways to improve IQ and uncover new knowledge about what changes intelligence.
  6. Learned ways to maximize your time in the classroom based on focused and knowledgeable planning.
  7. Discovered ways to help underachievers be more successful and gain more pleasure in school.
  8. Learned why setbacks are an essential part of success and building new neural pathways.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering, determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

None. All reading is online.


Text, Mindset, is approximately $12 from Used books available.



Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: Introduction.

For those participating in Group Collaboration, you must read and follow the instructions outlined in the Group Collaboration Guidelines. Click on the link for Guidelines.

  • Assignment #1, each participant must complete this assignment independently.
  • There should be a minimum of (4) four group meetings during which the course content is discussed. 
  • Teleconferences or live meetings are acceptable. A good videoconference option is Zoom (
  • Each participant must attend at least 75% of the group meetings (a minimum of 3 of 4 meetings).
  • ​You must complete your introduction before moving on to other assignments.

In a 1-2-page introduction describe your current professional situation, some low and high points in your teaching career and say why you chose this course. 

In a 250+ word response tell why you think it is difficult to make school enjoyable for today’s students and what immediate changes you would like to see happen in education. Have you had prior experience with the research of mindset and what are your goals?

Respond to at least two other students in your forum.

Assignment #2: Fixed versus Growth Mindset.
  • Watch the video on Growth vs Fixed Mindset.
  • After exploring the reading, what mindset do you think you have? Explore the following topics.
    • Is it realistic to think that you exhibit each mindset at separate times? 
    • Do you think most adults have a realistic view of the “idea” of the mindsets
      and how they drive their motivations and relationships? 
    • What new learning changed your thinking about mindsets or kids who struggle in the classroom?

In a 250+ word response, share your new understanding of mindsets with any reflections you have about students in your classroom. Explain how mindsets can change and why all of us have both mindsets. 

Assignment #3: About Non-Learners.

Read pages 15-54 to understand the world of mindsets and how kids lose their love of learning

Watch this YouTube video to understand the idea of a non-learner.

Compare what you learned in the video link with your reading on what environment creates a non-learner? Hold this "thinking" for your response at the end.

  • Think about the non-learners in your classroom. Can you already define the fixed and growth mindsets in these students?
  • Explain how a test score could define a student and why mindset matters for further academic success.
  • Explain how failure affects both the growth and fixed mindset and how that affects the traditional definition of "effort."

View this video to learn about the power of yet.

Create a Venn Diagram addressing the following areas.

  1. non-learners and their behaviors and achievement
  2. power of yet in the classroom (try it before you discuss in your final response)
  3. struggle, effort, failure, and changes for your classroom

Free Venn diagram available with Canva or choose your favorite app.

Respond to at least two other students on one of the points above.

Assignment #4: Achievement Reconsidered

Read pages 55-81 on why kids' accomplishment and talent and how we teach kids to persevere. Be able to discuss the relationship between mindsets and school achievement, "low effort syndrome," and motivation.

View this link at: to explore how to help every child fulfill their potential.
  • Why are all transitions including elementary to middle, middle to high school and high school to college, often a crisis for kids?
  • How can the knowledge of mindsets better prepare students at any level? 

View Carol Dweck's video on How to Help Every Child Fulfill Their Potential.

Watch the following video at:
  • What is your take-away idea about challenge as it relates to praise and
    the idea that “you are not there yet”?
  • What is the danger of praise and positive or negative labels and do
    negative stereotypes influence our attitude and teaching?

In a 500+ word response, use your learning from the reading and the videos to discuss tracking, school achievement, and mindsets, new insights into kids who may act like they are not interested but are exhibiting a fixed mindset. Provide at least one or two examples of what you observe in your classroom.

Respond to at least two other students.

Assignment #5: Champions.

Read pages 82-107 to understand the idea of talent vs. the work ethic. 

View the link on motivation, being fearless, and the mindset of champions at:


In a 250+ word response consider each of the following points:

  1. How can coaches and those in leadership positions maximize the idea

    of mindsets

  2.  The role of each teacher as a coach modeling TEAM behavior and inclusion

  3. Examples in this section that would be helpful for you to use in your
    classroom and why

  4. New strategies can you add to your lesson design to help students
    learn the idea of “dig down and pull it out when you need it the most” strategy? 

Assignment #6: Leaders.

Read pages 109-143 on leadership, the role of managers, leadership styles and mindsets

  • How can educators apply leadership and growth mindsets to
    their classrooms? 
  • What is the concept of “gargantuan ego” and do we also have
    evidence of this in education? 
  • Give examples of growth mindset leaders and explain how this learning
    can assist you in helping change the mindsets of your students? 
  • How can this model be an effective one for teachers in the classroom?
  • What would be the critical “take-away” information for leadership
    and maintaining motivation?

Respond in a 250+ word response using the view that we are leaders in our classroom and in our schools. Use a new lens to consider what works and what doesn't work in creating scholars and achievement.

Assignment #7: Personalities.

Read pages 144-172 about relationships, bullying, and the strengths and weaknesses of each personality. Every word, every action tells kids how to think about themselves.

  • How does this relate to the fixed mindset and relationships? 
  • Why is rejection so critical to the self-esteem of the kids who
    struggle in the classroom (from the perspective of the mindsets)? 
  • Why do those with fixed mindsets struggle in relationships? 
  • School communities are adopting many programs to combat bullies.
  • After you read this section, “What Can be Done," do you see any
    innovative solutions or understandings to this problem? 

In 500+ words discuss the connection between bullying, rejection, feeling like a failure, sense of community and relationships. Be prepared to give examples from the classroom, new thoughts for you, and ideas for implementation.

Assignment #8: Great Parent, Teacher, Coach.

Read pages 173-212 focusing on the parent, teacher, or coach. 
What is the difference between sending messages about success and failure vs. messages about process and growth?

Create Google slides to share your learning on the role of parent, teacher, coach. Use graphics that will help you retain the information. 

Google Slides: Online Slideshow Maker | Google Workspace

Discuss your feelings about how quickly children learn and respond to the messages they hear, using a new kind of praise in the classroom, and the two things critical for all teachers.

  • What makes a great teacher (parent) and using research on mindsets how can we redefine this role?
  • What learning applies to the students that give off the impression of not caring or who feel disrespected?

  • Are high challenge and positive environments enough? 
  • How can the Holy Grail of coaching be applied to the classroom? 
  • Which do you think dominates your classroom?

Assignment #9: How We Learn.

Read pages 213-220. Take a look at the introduction to Brainology at:

In 500+ words respond to the videos and the reading while considering the following:

  • What ideas do you have for a mindset workshop for your students?
  • What is the difference between this workshop and just teaching study skills? How have we failed the kids?
  • Where does the idea of “smartness” come from? 
  • Why is change so difficult and how do you go about exchanging a
    fixed mindset for a growth mindset? 
  • What do you and your students need to know about setbacks? 
  • What can be done with students that feel a sense of entitlement or
    to those who have an attraction to fixed mindsets?

Respond to at least two other students.

Assignment #10: Change.

Read pages 221-246 about the complexities of change

Read the following article: 

How to Foster a Growth Mindset in the Classroom | American University.

Choose two of the following videos:

In a 500+ word response discuss change based on the videos, your reading in both the text and the article/

  • What can you consciously do to improve your own classroom
  • What did tools did you learn from the book, videos and reading?
    Discuss them.
  • What is the most important thing you learned about self-control
    and mastering change? 
  • Since we are hardwired to resist change, how will you work on
    your own transformation? Carol Dweck says that for things to
    change, we must change first. Include your list for change
    and transformation in your response.



In this section, you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #11: Graphic Summary.

Create a graphic summary of the two mindsets, using the chart in the book as a guide. This would be something that could be displayed in your classroom or made available to other teachers to show them about fixed vs. growth mindsets.  Must include graphics, language consistent with your audience and creativity. There are posters available online, so this is not just a poster, but a chance to review and be creative with the learning.

Choose one of the free resources listed below.

  1. to make an infographic or a chart
  2. to create an animated graphic
  3. to use your imagination

Assignment #12: Lesson Development.

For those participating in Group Collaboration, this assignment is Required to be completed individually by all participants.

Complete one (1) of the follow options:

Option A)

  • Adapt and implement a lesson(s) reflecting what you’ve learned about Mindset to improve learning for all students. This might take the form of a Brain Camp that you would implement to teach kids about how the brain learns and how to have a growth mindset. A Brain Camp could be one week of mindset to start the school year.
  • Teach your lesson(s) to your audience keeping track of what worked where you need to reorganize
  • Write a 250+ word commentary on what worked well and what you experienced with your students. 
  • Include any student feedback on your lesson and share at least 3 samples from the students.
  • Share what you’ve learned with other teachers taking our courses by also contributing your Lesson to The Heritage Institute Lesson Library at
  • You may download a copy of THI's lesson plan template at
  • Send your modified lesson and your commentary via email to your instructor.


Option B) 
Use this option if you do not have a classroom available.

  • Adapt a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
  • Share what you’ve learned with other teachers taking our courses by contributing your Lesson to The Heritage Institute Lesson Library at
  • Write a 500+ word article concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher with one or more students.
  • Please refer to the guidelines on our blog What Works: Teaching at its Best prior to writing your article.  (
  • When you submit your article to your instructor, please also email a copy to Yvonne Hall, THI blog curator and media specialist.
  • Indicate whether or not you are OK with having your article considered for publishing on our website.  
  • Submit your modified lesson along with your article via email to your instructor.  

Assignment #13: Case History.

Write a 500+ word case history about teaching one or more students in your classroom that have classic fixed mindset symptoms.  Based on your learning from this course, create and implement a plan of action to address the students’ issues in a mindset way. Keep notes so you can describe the changes/effects on the students, and what you have learned in the process.

In another 250+ words specifically detail your plan of action, the outcomes, and future goals.

Assignment #14: (500 Level ONLY)

In addition to the 400 level assignments, complete one (1) of the following assignment options:

Option A) 

Create a presentation for your colleagues or classroom based on this course. Focus on perspectives or strategies you feel would be beneficial for your school/classroom. You must have at least 20 slides, graphics, pictures, and creative design and appropriate font size. You may also create a Prezi. 

You may choose from the following:




Option B)  

Mentor another individual in the concepts of this class. Create an outline or a set of slides to help you organize the sharing with your colleague. You can also do a video interview and send it to me.

Have them share two or three key concepts that they would like to implement within their work or social setting. 

Share specifics of the plan and how it will be evaluated for success in 500+ words. Also include your outline and what you learned from this time of sharing.


Option C)

Choose an assignment of your own design, with the instructor’s prior approval.


Assignment #15: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Brenda McKinney, CEO of Vancouver, WA based BrainVolution, is a developer and dynamic facilitator of workshops that teach practical thinking and learning tools for raising student achievement with the brain in mind. She has trained educators throughout the Pacific Northwest and is a popular presenter because of her ability to motivate, make things fun, and teach practical techniques for the classroom that can be used immediately. Brenda continues to read hundreds of books and articles on the subject of neuroscience and searches for the answer to success for every student. Her work with at-risk students and those with reading problems have made her a popular speaker at the state, regional and national level.

Brenda is able to synthesize the new research and continues to address the role of how to use the latest findings to create high achievement classroom. She brings 30+ years of experience at the elementary, middle school, high school and university level as a mentor teacher, consultant, motivational speaker, university instructor, and reading specialist. Brenda has her Master’s in Education from Washington State University and is nationally certified in Brain Based Learning through the renowned  Jensen Corporation, led by Eric Jensen, a noted international spokesperson for neuroscience and education.


Brenda will inspire and motivate you with her energy, enthusiasm and knowledge. Her wisdom, techniques, and brain based approach to education will inspire you and challenge you to meet the demands of this ever changing world.




Brock, Annie & Heather Hundley. The Growth Mindset Coach: A Teacher’s Month – by – Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve.  Ulysses Press. 2016. The Growth Mindset Coach provides all you need to foster a growth mindset in your classroom. Once you have taken the Mindset course, all teachers find they need more help to implement. This is a great resource. With the tools in this book, you can add to your ways to motivate students believe in themselves and achieve anything. Honestly, it is not as hard as you think.

Colvin, Geoff. Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else. 200 pgs. New York, NY: Penguin. 2010. ISBN 978-1-59184-224-8.  Asked to explain why a few people truly excel, most people offer one of two answers. The first is hard work. The other possibility is that the elite possess an innate talent for excelling in their field. According to the author, Geoff Colvin, both the hard work and natural talent camps are wrong. What really makes the difference is a highly specific kind of effort-"deliberate practice"-that few of us pursue when we're practicing.  Based on scientific research, Talent is Overrated shares the secrets of extraordinary performance and shows how to apply these principles. It features the stories of people who achieved world-class greatness through deliberate practice.

Duckworth. Angela. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Simon & Schuster. 2016. ISBN 978-1-5011-1110-5.  Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that—not talent or luck—makes all the difference. She provides a ton of experiments and practical stories to show that passion and perseverance are a critical component of success. An interesting and intriguing read.

Dweck, Carol. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York, NY: Ballantine Books. 2008. 250 pages.  ISBN 978-0-345-47232.  Mindset is one of those rare books that can help you make positive changes in your life and at the same time see the world in a new way. A leading expert in motivation and personality psychology, Carol Dweck has discovered in more than twenty years of research that our mindset is not a minor personality quirk: it creates our whole mental world. It explains how we become optimistic or pessimistic. It shapes our goals, our attitude toward work and relationships, and how we raise our kids, ultimately predicting whether or not we will fulfill our potential. Dweck has found that everyone has one of two basic mindsets. She demonstrates that mindset unfolds in childhood and drives every aspect of our lives, from work to sports, from relationships to parenting. Get ready to enjoy.

Elliott-Makswa, Elaine & Carol Dweck. 2022. The Growth Mindset Workbook: CBT Skills to Help You Build Resilience, Increase Confidence, and Thrive through Life's Challenges. New Harbinger Publications, California.  ISBN:  This book is focused on how to lead students to a growth mindset for school-and life-by focusing on five crucial, research-driven attitudes: persistence, flexibility, resilience, optimism, and empathy. It includes teaching tips; practical classroom helps along with visuals. Examples are also included and helpful. I know you will be delighted with this new and fabulous book.

Heath, Dan & Chip.  Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. 265 pages. New York, NY: Broadway Books. 2010. ISBN 978-0-385-52875-1.  Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our schools, and in our own lives?  The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains say the authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control.  In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can affect transformative change.

Mraz, Kristine & Christine Hertz. A Mindset for Learning: Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth. Heinemann, 2015.   A fabulous look at mindset and how to incorporate into the classroom. 

Pink, Daniel. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. 250 pages. New York, NY: Riverhead Books. 2010. ISBN 978-1-101-52438-1.  Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money--the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink in Drive. He asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction--at work, at school, and at home--is the deep human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better for our world and us.  Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does-and how that affects every aspect of life.