Shifting Mindsets: Transforming Self, School, and Society

Book chapter published in The Palgrave Handbook of Positive Education

This chapter was developed by wellbeing, leadership, and regenerative sustainability author, Ash Buchanan who was a significant mentor and friend to me over the past five years. I supported the process as co-author, alongside a host of educators and practitioners collectively inquiring into the future of education, the planet and our role in it during the year that was 2020.


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.


We are living in a time of profound disruption and planetary crises 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 mindsets 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. We include a table of 10 mindset transformations, and we invite scholars and educators to explore implications.


The full chapter can be accessed and downloaded for free on the SpringerLink website here.

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