Have you ever learned about the growth mindset?
A mindset is the series of beliefs that we hold about ourselves; our self-perception.
American psychologist Professor Carol Dweck coined the term growth mindset in her 2006 book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. A growth mindset is a belief that we can develop our skills and talents through hard work, the right strategies, and guidance from others. People with a growth mindset believe that their strengths are the result of their efforts rather than their innate ability. And, people with a growth mindset say leaders are made, not born.
The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. People with a fixed mindset say leaders are born, not made. Dr Paula J Carproni from the University of Michigan explained that a fixed mindset means believing in nature over nurture, that is they believe in their genetic makeup qualities and feel these characteristics stay pretty stable throughout their lives.
We would like to share how our students have learned about the growth mindset and how they considered developing it.
“Carol Dweck said in the video that she learned in high school in Chicago that if the students did not pass the exam, they got the grade “not yet”. If we fail, we are nowhere but if we get the grade “not yet”, we are on a learning curve. Learning a growth mindset transformed the meaning of effort and difficulty. Difficulty just means “not yet” so we have a chance to get smarter. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work; brains and talent are just the starting point. She said that let’s not waste any more lives because the more we know that basic human abilities can be grown, the more it becomes a basic human right for all kids and adults. We should live in environments that create growth.” – Student B, ESA section C.
“A developing growth mindset is the increasing of the ability of the people after hard work. In the video, Carol Dweck explains the power of yet for the growth mindset by giving her own experiences and other examples. When she studied at Chicago University, University gave a “not yet” grade to the students who did not pass 84 units. It meant students did not fail, did not pass yet. It motivated the students to try again to graduate. According to research, while the fixed mindset brain shows nothing changes, the growth mindset brain processes the errors, learning from them and correcting them. To get a growth mindset, we should leave our comfort zone and learn new lessons. All people can train to have a growth mindset. We should try to create a growth mindset environment that fills with yet for the people, especially the kids and adults.” – Student C, ESA section C.
“I think I have a growth mindset. I never think failure is forever and I always learn from my mistakes. When I listen to Carol Dweck’s speech, I feel interested in the power of “yet”. I also wonder if “not yet” gave the students a path into the future. She explained two different mindsets, fixed mindset and growth mindset which is the first time I heard it. Then, she talked about every time students pushed out of their comfort zone to learn something really hard and they stuck to it, the neurons in their brains could form new, stronger connections and over time they could become smarter. After I listen to it, I might think differently about “not yet”. If I face difficulties, I don’t think I cannot do it and I will find a way to overcome it. I understand it can help my abilities to grow through my hard work.” – Student D, ESA section C.
We hope this blog helps you to reflect on yourself and think about developing a growth mindset.