I am very happy to tell you about something my students and I will learn about this year called a growth mindset. Discovered by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck, Ph.D., a growth mindset is the belief that we can develop our abilities, including our intelligence, which is our ability to think. It is distinguished from a fixed mindset, which is the belief that abilities can’t change, such as thinking that some people can’t improve in math, creativity, writing, relationship-building, leadership, sports, and the like. Many studies have shown that people who embrace a growth mindset understand that learning something new involves struggling and making mistakes, so they persevere. Throughout the school year, we will talk about brain development, learning, and facing challenges. I will post more as the year progresses. Here are a few links so you can explore this topic.
Carol Dweck revisits growth mindset and cautions about the following:
- Students need to try new strategies and seek input from others when they’re stuck. They need this repertoire of approaches—not just sheer effort—to learn and improve.
- When students are stuck, teachers can appreciate their work so far, but add: “Let’s talk about what you’ve tried, and what you can try next.”