Why Talking About the Brain Can Empower Learners

Knowledge about how the brain works can make a big difference when confronting difficult learning situations. If you have a growth mindsetand are aware of the ability to improve oneself, a challenge can be welcome (versus those with a fixed mindset who are averse to the failures a challenge may bring). Stanford University professor of psychology Carol Dweck, who has been leading the research in this field, discusses “The power of believing that you can improve” in this TED talk. In one example, she talks about students who made vast improvements on test scores once they learned about the growth mindset:

“This happened because the meaning of effort and difficulty were transformed. Before, effort and difficulty made them feel dumb, made them feel like giving up, but now, effort and difficulty, that’s when their neurons are making new connections, stronger connections. That’s when they’re getting smarter.”

https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve

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