Returning to the theme of powerful education-related strategies that exist outside the online-technological space, I recently started reading an insightful book by the psychologist and researcher Carol S. Dweck called “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.”
The fundamental point made by the author (and illustrated through countless examples and experiments) is that there are two kinds of mindsets that govern our thinking when it comes to striving for achievement: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.
In the former case, people think their qualities (personality traits, intellect, or both) are set in stone, and they look at tests with dread and anxiety because those tests will, in their minds, either confirm their supposedly fixed talent or out them as failures. In the latter case, people eagerly learn from their mistakes and see challenges as changes to grow and improve their intelligence or ability.
It’s easy to see how this framework can powerfully inform students at all levels, and Dweck provides and references a plethora of cases involving schools to showcase the value of the growth mindset. In general, students with the fixed mindset become easily discouraged when the going gets tough, whereas students with the growth mindset excitedly tackle the problem and improve their performance.
What examples of growth and challenge mindsets have you exhibited and encountered in your classroom, and beyond?
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