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Growth Mindset: Clearing up Some Common Confusions

By Eduardo Briceño A growth mindset is the understanding that personal qualities and abilities can change. It leads people to take on challenges, persevere in the face of setbacks, and become more effective learners. As more and more people learn about the growth mindset, which was first discovered by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck, we sometimes observe some confusions about it. Recently some critiques have emerged. Of course we invite critical analysis and feedback, as it helps all of us learn and improve, but some of the recent commentary seems to point to misunderstandings of growth mindset research and practice. Confusion #1: What a growth mindset is When we ask people to tell us what the growth mindset is, we often get lots of different answers, such as working hard, having high expectations, being resilient, or more general ideas like being open or flexible. Confusion #2: To foster a growth mindset, simply praise children for working hard Deepening our understanding over time

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Recognizing and Overcoming False Growth Mindset All educators care deeply about their students' motivation. They want them to love learning, and to be resourceful and persistent in the face of learning challenges. They don't want their students to lose heart when they get stuck, make mistakes, or receive disappointing grades. In this context, the growth mindset entered the scene. A growth mindset is the belief that you can develop your talents and abilities through hard work, good strategies, and help from others. It stands in opposition to a fixed mindset, which is the belief that talents and abilities are unalterable traits, ones that can never be improved.

There’s more to a ‘growth mindset’ than assuming you have it Stanford University psychology professor Carol Dweck coined the phrase “growth mindset” as the belief that you can develop your abilities, and then watched as the term took hold as a meme for motivation on playgrounds and in classrooms across America. Now she’s worried about its misapplication: Teachers who use growth mindset as a shorthand without understanding it; parents who attempt to teach a growth mindset by haranguing kids to try harder; schools that assume they can measure growth mindsets by asking teachers and students to grade how they handle adversity and solve complex problems. Less than a decade after the publication of Dweck’s “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” research by her and others is flourishing, gamers are creating growth mindset games and school districts are paying attention to what are often referred to as “soft skills,” such as social emotional learning or non-cognitive skills like perseverance and self-control.

Carol Dweck Explains The “False” Growth Mindset That Worries Her Carol Dweck has become the closest thing to an education celebrity because of her work on growth mindset. Her research shows that children who have a growth mindset welcome challenges as opportunities to improve, believing that their abilities can change with focused effort. Kids with fixed mindsets, on the other hand, believe they have a finite amount of talent that can’t be altered and shy away from challenges that might reveal their inabilities.

Nurturing Growth Mindsets: Six Tips From Carol Dweck - Rules for Engagement Washington Stanford researcher Carol Dweck clearly tapped into a powerful and compelling idea when she linked the concept of growth mindsets to academic success. As fans of Dweck's research can quickly explain, people with fixed mindsets see strengths and skills as inate traits, like eye color. You're either born with them, or you're not. But people with growth mindsets recognize that the brain can grow and change through effort, and they embrace failures as opportunities for developing new strategies and approaches to learning content and concepts they find challenging.

Promoting growth mindset means checking biases at the door, experts say The idea of growth vs. fixed mindsets is one that has gained traction in modern debates around how to meet the needs of students. Most herald the idea of the growth mindset as being the proper way to frame educational conversations. The idea is simple: Basic abilities in everyone can be developed through dedication and hard work. Four questions that encourage growth mindset among students Teachers have long battled with how to get their students to become more resilient and improve their mindset. One popular theory, pioneered by Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, is the idea of growth mindset. Dweck explains that some students believe ability is malleable and can be improved (a growth mindset), while others think it is set in stone, probably decided at birth (a fixed mindset). Evidence suggests that those with a growth mindset seek out feedback on how to get better, persist with work for longer and cope better with change – all attitudes teachers want to develop in their young charges.

Spring Clean Your Mental Closet It’s that time of year again — when the season changes, the flowers bloom, and people tend to spring clean their homes — saying goodbye to winter and welcoming the warmer months ahead. In New York City, we pack up our cold weather gear, to make room in our (typically) tiny closets for sunnier weather attire. During this process, we might even make a pile of clothing and items that no longer serve us. Maybe we haven’t worn it in ages, it’s damaged, or it just doesn’t fit into our current wardrobe anymore. So we sell or donate it — or if it’s in bad enough shape — toss it out completely. This is such a common ritual with our physical stuff — but what about the mental stuff?

The skill you need now: presentation literacy – ideas.ted.com iStock You’re nervous, right? Stepping out onto a public stage and having hundreds of pairs of eyes turned your way is terrifying. You dread having to stand up in a company meeting and present your project. What if you get nervous and stumble over your words?

How Does the Brain Learn Best? Smart Studying Strategies In his new book, “How We Learn: The Surprising Truth about When, Where, and Why It Happens,” author Benedict Carey informs us that “most of our instincts about learning are misplaced, incomplete, or flat wrong” and “rooted more in superstition than in science.” That’s a disconcerting message, and hard to believe at first. But it’s also unexpectedly liberating, because Carey further explains that many things we think of as detractors from learning — like forgetting, distractions, interruptions or sleeping rather than hitting the books — aren’t necessarily bad after all.

3 Affirmations Successful People Repeat Every Day I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. The power of belief and repetition are underestimated. Your thoughts have more influence over your life than you realize. Interview any successful person and they'll tell you how important positive self-talk is to your confidence. You must believe you can succeed. Here are three great affirmations successful people recite to themselves every day:

The Science: The Growth Mindset - Mindset Works®: Student Motivation through a Growth Mindset, by Carol Dweck, Ph.D. Why the Growth Mindset? When students and educators have a growth mindset, they understand that intelligence can be developed. Students focus on improvement instead of worrying about how smart they are. They work hard to learn more and get smarter. Based on years of research by Stanford University’s Dr. Dweck, Lisa Blackwell Ph.D., and their colleagues, we know that students who learn this mindset show greater motivation in school, better grades, and higher test scores. 5 Secrets to Being Happy, Backed by Research We all wanna be happier, right? Thing is, depression is at epic levels. More people are unhappy and they’re getting miserable at an even younger age. From Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment: In the United States, rates of depression are ten times higher today than they were in the 1960s, and the average age for the onset of depression is fourteen and a half compared to twenty-nine and a half in 1960. You don’t want to be part of this trend.

Developing a Growth Mindset in Teachers and Staff An idea that is beginning to gain a lot of favour in educational circles at the moment is the notion of fixed versus growth mindsets, and how they might relate to students and learning. Based on the work of Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck, the idea of mindset is related to our understanding of where ability comes from. It has recently been seized upon by educators as a tool to explore our knowledge of student achievement, and ways that such achievement might be improved. However, in my work, I have found that the notion of developing a growth mindset is as equally applicable to staff and teacher performance as it is to students.

This One Mindset Tweak Will Solve Most Of Your Problems Jeremy Piven, the actor famous for his roles in Entourage and Mr. Selfridge, was recently interviewed by Success Magazine. In the interview, he mentioned that, as an actor, the only way to get work is to audition for specific roles.

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