Carol Dweck: Stanford University Psychology Professor Author of Mindset
Fixed Mindset: We believe intelligence and abilities are fixed traits We are born with them; they are innate We believe we have a certain amount of intelligence, and we can’t really do much to change that amount
Growth Mindset: We believe intelligence and abilities can be developed We may be born with them or choose to develop them sometime during our lives, but we can develop them further from the place where they start We believe no matter how much intelligence or talent we have, we can always learn new things, change and develop
Fixed Mindset Students: Care first and foremost about how they'll be judged: smart or not smart Reject opportunities to learn if they might make mistakes Try to hide mistakes and deficiencies rather than correct them Believe that if you have the ability, you shouldn't need effort; ability should bring success all by itself
The Effects of Fixed Mindset on Students: Become excessively concerned with how smart they are, seeking tasks that will prove their intelligence and avoiding ones that might not (Dweck, 1999, 2006). The desire to learn takes a backseat. Causes many bright students to stop working in school when the curriculum becomes challenging Don't recover well from setbacks; they decrease their efforts and consider cheating Idea of fixed intelligence does not offer them viable ways to improve
Growth Mindset Students: Care about learning Correct mistakes or deficiencies when they make them View effort as a positive thing; it ignites their intelligence and causes it to grow Believe their intellectual ability is something they can develop through effort and education Understand that even Einstein and Mozart had to put in years of effort to become who they were
The Effects of Growth Mindset on Students: In the face of failure, they escalate their efforts and look for new learning strategies Outperform their classmates with fixed mind-sets— even when they enter with equal skills and knowledge Don’t worry about how smart they will appear; they take on challenges and stick to them (Dweck, 1999, 2006)
The Effects of Praise: “Many parents and teachers believe that: praising students' intelligence builds their confidence and motivation to learn (false) students' inherent intelligence is the major cause of their achievement in school (harmful)
The Effects of Praise (cont.): “Many parents and educators have hoped to: maximize students' confidence in their abilities, their enjoyment of learning, and their ability to thrive in school by praising their intelligence.” Instead, Dweck found out that: “Praising students' intelligence gives them a short burst of pride, followed by a long string of negative consequences.” Mothers’ praise to 1, 2 and 3 year-olds was predicting child’s mindset and desire for challenge five years later, in second grade
Person Praise: Adult tells child, 'You’re really smart. You’re talented. You are really good at this.’ When the child hits difficulty, he thinks, 'Oops! I’m not good at this.' Child continues to seek and need that person praise to feel good about him/herself to keep validating that she’s smart or talented. Because they hear contradictions to the impressions their parents have of them, may start withdrawing from challenges or not working hard.
Process Praise: Creates more of a growth mindset and resilience Appreciates the child’s hard work, the strategies they try, their focus, their perseverance, their improvement Tells them why they’re being successful and what they need to do in the future
The Value of Trying and Improving: The learning feeds their self-esteem “The whole process of stretching and learning and improving makes you feel good. And that’s much easier to do than look perfect or brilliant all the time.”
Examples of Process Praise: “I like the way you tried all kinds of strategies on that math problem until you finally got it.” “You really studied for your spelling test, and your improvement shows it. You read the words over several times, put them in sentences, and asked me to test you on them. That really worked!” “It was a long, hard assignment, but you stuck to it and got it done. You stayed at your desk, kept up your concentration, and kept working. That's great!”
How to Deal with “Failure” Parent’s reaction shapes a child’s mindset If parents believe failure is a really bad thing, the message to the child is to avoid it at all costs If parents perceive failure as a good thing, they send the message that it helps us learn, and it gives us information.
References: NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, 2009 New York Magazine; “How Not to Talk to Your Kids; The inverse power of praise” by Po Bronson, August 2007 Make it Better; “The Perils of Praise: A Discussion on Mindset with Carol Dweck” by Coco Keevan, May 2014 Mindset by Carol Dweck, 2007 Carol Dweck: “The Effect of Praise on Mindsets;” http://youtu.be/TTXrV0_3UjY Carol Dweck: “Parenting a Perfectionist Child;” http://youtu.be/FMxS3vh0Vuwhttp://youtu.be/FMxS3vh0Vuw “The Key to Success? Grit” by Angela Duckworth; http://www.ted.com/talks angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grithttp://www.ted.com/talks