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Mindsets: Creating Confident and Effective Learners Center for Confidence Creating Confident Individuals September 18, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Mindsets: Creating Confident and Effective Learners Center for Confidence Creating Confident Individuals September 18, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mindsets: Creating Confident and Effective Learners Center for Confidence Creating Confident Individuals September 18, 2008

2 “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures… I divide the world into the learners and nonlearners.” - Benjamin Barber

3 Mindsets Fixed Mindset: Intelligence/talent is a fixed trait …Myth of the natural Growth Mindset: Intelligence is a malleable quality; a potential that can be developed …Talent is a starting point

4 Mindsets Which mindset is correct? Which mindset is most popular? Do students hold the same mindsets across domains? Are the mindsets related to students’ ability? Are the mindsets themselves fixed or can they be changed?

5 What Do Mindsets Do? The 7 th Grade High Transition

6 What Do Mindsets Do? Goals Learning is Most Important: “It’s much more important for me to learn things in my classes than it is to get the best grades.” Looking Smart is Most Important: “The main thing I want when I do my school work is to show how good I am at it.”

7 What Mindsets Do Effort Beliefs Effort is positive: “The harder you work at something, the better you’ll be at it.” Effort is negative: “To tell the truth, when I work hard at my school work it makes me feel like I’m not very smart.”

8 What Mindsets Do Strategies Resilient: “I would work harder in this class from now on.” “I would spend more time studying for the tests.” Helpless: “I would spend less time on this subject from now on.” “I would try not to take this subject ever again.” “I would try to cheat on the next test.”

9 Math Achievement in Junior High School growth fixed

10 Question “Who was the Union general at the battle of Gettysburg?” * Subject types response and confidence 1.5 s 2 s * Correct answer 1.5 s Ability-Relevant Feedback Learning-Relevant Feedback 1 s Paying Attention to Learning or


12 Fixed Mindset Instructions “The test you are about to take, the verbal portion of the MCAT, is a measure of your verbal intelligence and verbal reasoning ability…”

13 Growth Mindset Instructions The test you are about to take… is not a measure of verbal ability; rather it is a measure of your current level of reading comprehension, retention, and speed. All of these can improve considerably with practice.

14 Mindset Instructions on MCAT Problems 25.9% increase

15 How are Mindsets Communicated? Messages We Send to Students


17 How Are Mindsets Communicated? Intelligence Praise: “Wow, that’s a really good score. You must be smart at this.” Effort Praise: “Wow, that’s a really good score. You must have tried really hard.” [Control Group: “Wow, that’s a really good score.”]

18 Effects of Intelligence vs. Effort Praise Mindset: Fixed vs. Growth Goals: Looking smart vs. Learning After Difficult Trial: Confidence: Low vs. High Motivation: Low vs. High Performance: Decreased vs. Increased

19 Number of problems solved on Trial 1 (before failure) and Trial 3 (after failure). Number of Problems Solved

20 Lying Students who misrepresented their scores Type of Praise Given

21 Changing Mindsets




25 Math Grades (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck)

26 Percent Identified as Increasing in Motivation

27 Replicated several times : Motivation, Grades, Achievement Test Scores Reduced gender gap in math; race gap in grades and on standardized tests.

28 Brainology 5 Computer Modules Teachers’ Guide

29 Visit to Brain Lab

30 Mad Scientist

31 Brain Experiments

32 The Learning Brain

33 Have you changed your mind about anything? Yes … I imagine neurons making connections in my brain and I feel like I am learning something. (biggie) My favorite thing from Brainology is the neurons part where when u learn something there are connections and they keep growing. I always picture them when I’m in school (khadija)

34 Teacher: Have you noticed changes? [In my class they] use the memory terminology every chance they get, “I’ll have to put that into my long-term memory,” “Sorry, that stuff is not in my long-term memory,” I guess I was only using my working memory” …They offer to practice, study, take notes, or pay attention to ensure that connections will be made.

35 Conclusions Mindsets play a key role in motivation to learn Mindsets can be changed.

36 Thank you!

37 Feedback for a Growth Mindset

38 Examples of Process Praise That Foster A Growth Mindset You really studied for your English test and your improvement shows it. You read the material over several times, you outlined it, and you tested yourself on it. It really worked!

39 I like the way you tried all kinds of strategies on that math problem until you finally got it. You thought of a lot of different ways to do it and found the one that worked! It was a long and hard assignment, but you stuck to it until you got it done. You stayed at your desk, you kept your concentration, and you kept on working. That’s great!

40 I like that you took on that challenging project for your science class. It will take a lot of work—doing the research, designing the machine, finding the parts, and building it. Boy, you’re going to learn a lot of great things.

41 “I know school used to be easy for you and you used to feel like the smart kid all the time. But the truth is that you weren’t using your brain to the fullest. I’m really excited about how you’re stretching yourself now and working to learn hard things.”

42 Compare: “You did that project beautifully. You see, you are smart. I’m proud of you” “You did that project beautifully. Your practice and hard work really paid off. Are you pleased?”

43 Criticism In a fixed mindset students must be protected from errors In a growth mindset, teachers must tell the truth

44 Process (Constructive) Criticism “We all have different learning curves. It may take more time for you to catch on and be comfortable with this material, but you if you keep at it like this you will.” “Reading/writing/math is really hard for you. If you’re willing to work hard and do extra things, we can change that. Are you ready to start?”

45 “I liked the effort you put in, but let’s work together some more and figure out what it is you don’t understand.”

46 “Everyone learns in a different way. Let’s keep trying to find the way that works for you.” “I know you’re disappointed in your test grade. Let’s talk about how you studied and maybe we can figure out what went wrong.”

47 “When you talk, you’re so lively and full of energy. Let’s see if we can get that into your writing. Now, how could we say this…?”

48 Other Growth Mindset Lessons Enjoyment of Challenges “Let’s work on something hard that you can learn from, not something that you already know how to do.” “Boy, this is hard. This is what I call fun.”

49 Struggle is Not a Bad Word “Who had a good struggle? Let’s share what we struggled with today” “Now that’s what I call a terrific struggle! Way to go!”

50 “Mistakes Are Our Friends” “Who thinks they made a really interesting mistake?” “Who else made a terrific mistake that will help us learn?”

51 Learning and Improvement “Let’s go around and have each of you share something you learned today that you didn’t know before.” “That was a lot of hard work. Can you just imagine all the connections you grew today?”

52 Bottom Line Knowing how to take on challenges, struggle, welcome mistakes, and improve-- is what builds and maintains healthy confidence. This is what children need to know

53 And so do we as teachers…

54 The End Thank you!


56 Pre-Med Chemistry Grades Grant & Dweck

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