There are many people who have had the “I can’t” feeling. I’ve met people who are not good at public speaking, sports, and thinking about myself not good at math. But that is a fixed mindset. After finishing this week of class I will strive to keep and continue a growth mindset. Instead of saying what I “can’t “do I will say I can’t do it “yet”.
Carol Dweck has done widespread research on fixed and growth mindsets. In the video shown in class Dweck describes the difference in each mindset, how they impact our motivations, and how we word our praise can influence these mindsets. A fixed mindset is the belief that we have an intrinsic ability level, and that once we begin to fail we have reached our peak. This mindset can lead to some people not wanting a challenge, playing the blame game when we mess up, and don’t take kindly to criticism. A growth mindset is the belief that there is growth when we make mistakes, and when we have determination and continue to practice we grow. A person with a growth mindset considers failure a step towards success. A person with a growth mindset will take on new challenges, and ask for help and will take criticism. With this mindset, these people will be successful in whatever the put their minds to. A growth mindset is important to have because it can be the difference between overall success and failure. An individual with a fixed mindset, will complain, blame, and possibly quit when they fail because they view failure as a shameful thing.
Dweck offers a great resource to get people started on a growth mindset with four steps.
- Recognize the “voice” of a fixed mindset.
- Make the mindful choice to develop a growth mindset.
- Answer fixed mindset thoughts with growth mindset answers.
- Live out a growth mindset.
As a person who believes strongly in the power of a growth mindset, I will always encourage my students to build their growth mindsets as well. I will help them work through the four steps that I mentioned above. I will have them voice their fixed mindset thoughts aloud, then answer their thoughts with growth mindset answers while encouraging them to make the choice to have a growth mindset. And finally challenge them to act out their growth mindsets. Making this a practice will eventually become a natural thing for them. When developing a growth, mindset is it must be maintained constantly. It is very easy to fall back into a fixed mindset when we don’t focus on growth and reflection. That is the main reason I will encourage my students daily to continuously develop their growth mindset. When a student feels like he or she has messed up I will keep them focused on a growth mindset that will help keep them strong-minded and become successful.
Another important step that I will use to develop a growth mindset in my students is to introduce them to the word “yet.” I encourage my students to change their thoughts from “I can’t,” to “I can’t do this yet.” I try to start with something that interests my students, and will engage the students.
Developing a growth mindset is a huge part of my innovation plan. When the school year starts, I will help students learn about growth and fixed mindsets, and to help students understand that they have the choice to think one way or the other. I will allow students to reflect and to grow in areas that they demonstrate weaknesses and challenge themselves. With a growth mindset, our students will be able to self-confidently handle learning and any other challenges that come their way.
Dweck, C. (2006-2010) How can you change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. http://mindsetonline.com/changeyourmindset/firststeps/index.html
Dweck, C. (2006-2010) Mindset online. http://mindsetonline.com/index.html