We cannot think about a focus on growth without starting with a “Growth Mindset”. This is THE integral component to thinking and living growth, and it is more often exposed through a “fixed mindset”.
We've all heard defeatist self-talk from our kids:
"I'm terrible at maths."
"I'll never be a good writer."
"I hate history."
Of course, such beliefs make learning these subjects all the more difficult.
But sometimes positive self-talk can also be problematic:
"I'm great at maths."
"I'm a natural-born writer."
"I know everything about history."
What's wrong with such statements? Like the negative self-talk, these statements limit learning because they create a fixed mindset. So, what are these fixed and growth mindsets?
Students succumb to a fixed mindset when they think that their intelligence and talent are set: They are either smart or not, either talented or not. A student who says, "I'm terrible at math" will avoid the subject whenever possible. A student who says, "I'm great at math" will probably not work very hard to improve.
On the other hand, students develop a growth mindset when they realise that intelligence and talent grow through practice, patience, and hard work. Conversely, intelligence and talent grow "rusty" from neglect. Rather than focusing on a fixed level of ability, students with a growth mindset focus on continual improvement.
Carol Dweck of Stanford University defines these beliefs in her book Mindset and shows how they impact learning: (Carol’s TED talk here)
Subscribe to receive latest updates from our blogs
11 Terrace Road
Western Australian 6935
CRICOS Provider Code 00437D
T: (+61 8) 9377 9222
P: (+61 8) 9377 3140