August 18, 2013

Growth Mindset

I recently read an interesting article about how kids respond to being told they are "smart."   The article sites some interesting research that compares kids' performance when they are told they are smart or good at something with kids' performance when they are told that they must have worked hard/tried hard.  The kids who are encouraged to believe that their own effort effects the outcome are willing to try harder tasks and actually achieve at a higher level in the end.

The article, How Not to Talk to Your Kids,  is lengthy.  I was more than willing to read the entire thing because I believe this is a core concept that we need to understand.  For years experts have talked about self-esteem issues that children have.  We have all tried a variety of techniques for building self-esteem.  Often, the result is lavish praise. The research that Carol Dweck is doing suggests that much of our "solution" is actually contributing to a larger problem.

Here is a short video where Carol Dweck give a very brief summary of her basic research.

Growth mindset is something that people are starting to pay attention to.  Before I finished the school year last year, we watched a video related to this in a staff meeting.  The Academic and I have joined with a charter school for our homeschooling this year and in a beginning of the year parent conference we watched a video about growth mindset. I hope more people start to think this way and that schools and parents will act on this information.

What do you think?  Do you tend to have more of a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?  What were you told as a child?  Did it impact your success?  I would love to hear your thoughts.  Leave a comment!

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