Much has been written about the concept of a Growth Mindset, based on the seminal work of Dr. Carol Dweck at Stanford. The research is clear. Individuals with a growth mindset – that is, who believe that intelligence and talent can be developed – do better than those who think that talent is innate and that intelligence doesn’t change much. The concept is deceptively simple and doesn’t provide everything we need to change our own mindsets and foster a Growth Mindset in our students and children and within our organizations.
This webinar explores how to model a Growth Mindset; how to foster a Growth Mindset with students, children and others; strategies for increasing intelligence; and what it really means to praise the effort and not the outcome.
Mindset isn’t just about what we say. It is how we process feedback and how we interact with our students. If asked in general, we all might say that we have a growth mindset – after all, it’s critical for teachers and parents and in every professional field we know of. But, how we really behave and what we say and what we believe at a nonconscious level can be different.
Understanding and developing a growth mindset is not a linear path. It involves three mental dimensions:
Cognition: How we think
Metacognition: Thinking about how we think
Mindset: How we think about change
While the concept of mindset sounds like a dichotomy, it is really more of a continuum. None of us has a pure fixed mindset or a pure growth mindset. Moreover, we may have one kind of mindset in a particular context and a different mindset in another context.
The assumption of someone with a fixed mindset is that intelligence is predetermined and there isn’t much they can do about it.
In both cases, those with a growth mindset typically start to avoid whatever situation led to the feelings of failure.
A growth mindset uses or implies one of the most powerful words in the English language (and every human language has its equivalent) … the word YET.
YET contains within it the promise of accomplishments we can’t yet imagine. It contains within it a vision of our future selves doing exactly what we have just failed at … and doing it successfully. And it gives appropriate value to a mistake and a learning experience.
One of the most important and often misunderstood aspects of a growth mindset is that it doesn’t simply require “grit” or “persistence” …. It is about grit with a plan and persistence with a strategy. What will I try next that can change the outcome? How is it that a loss can become learning.
How we model a growth mindset and how we talk about mistakes and failure has a big impact on whether our children and students develop a mindset that is more growth-oriented or more fixed.
Ways to Discourage a Growth Mindset
Here are some statements that tend to reinforce a fixed mindset.
Wow, you’re so smart. You aced that test and barely studied for it.
That’s OK. Spelling isn’t that important.
That teacher of yours sure picked some hard spelling words this week.
Don’t get down on yourself. You’ll get it if you just keep trying.
Ways to Nurture a Growth Mindset
If you have questions or need additional information on anything we discussed in this webinar, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. After you have watched this webinar, you can request a certificate of participation.
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