Growth Mindset

Growth mindset versus fixed mindset? Which one are you?

The article “Growth Mindset” by Carol Dweck came from her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. In this book Dweck talks about the difference between Growth and Fixed mindsets.

In a Growth Mindset, people see believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This view creates a love of learning and because of this these students will learn more. They view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve their learning and skills. In a Fixed Mindset, people believe their basic qualities ex: talents or intelligence, are fixed traits. These people spend time documenting these traits instead of developing them. They believe talent alone creates success without effort. They believe they are either “smart or dumb” and there is no way to change their beliefs.

Reading this article I can see kids going both ways. I have worked with kids on both sides of the spectrum and some kids are just more confident than others. In any given day I can hear “I’ve got this I can do this.” or “I don’t get it, I don’t know how to do this, I give up!” I do believe you can change a child with a fixed mindset, but it can takes some time, it’s not going to happen overnight. As educators, giving a lot of praise, making them believe in themselves and love what they do/are doing are key components in developing a growth mindset in a child. These children need to know that things aren’t always going to come easy for them. Life is not easy. They have to work hard to get where they want to be. Talent alone does not create success. They need to know that what they are doing will be all worth it and their hard work will shine through whether it’s in their grades/assessments, praise from teachers or other students, or just getting that extra pat on the back. As educators, we can most certainly change a student with a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, it just takes dedication, hard work and feeling good about themselves! They need to spend any extra time developing their awesome traits in stead of documenting them, this will bring about a big change in mindset. With all of these qualities they will create a true love of learning. It is very important for a child to feel like they can do it and quit viewing failures as failures, they will begin viewing failures as a chance to grow and improve their skills.

That being said, I’d have to say I see myself with a growth mindset. I have an open mind to believe that I can and will work hard and dedicate my time and energy to getting it done. Prime example was me going back to school for these grad classes after 20 (cough cough) years since I graduated college. It was extremely difficult for me to get up the courage to do this, but as time went on I knew I needed to learn more and wanted to learn more. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and I was extremely nervous, but it honestly has made me develop a love of learning that laid dormant for plus years.

The human brain, which mindset are you? Can you change that?