(My notes from listening to Carol Dweck speak at Smith College in 2013, Northampton, MA)
Fixed Mindset vs Growth mindset
- People with fixed mindset about intelligence (i.e., I was “born” smart) do poorly compare to people with growth mindset (i.e., I can learn anything).
- We need to value fabulous struggles. If it’s was easy to arrive at, is it valuable?
- As educators, we do a disservice to people with a fixed mindset when we compliment them for finishing something quickly or easily. Instead, Carol would say, “You did that so quickly and easily; I’m sorry I wasted your time with this.”
- When we give grades we have choices:
- Not Yet
- Fixed mindset about intelligence will say, “I’m not good at ________.”
- Growth mindset will say, “I’m not good at ________ yet.”
- Me: Good tattoo idea!>> “…yet”
- Brainology: Brain can still grow new connections, grow, which is transforming the meaning of effort and difficulty.
- Fixed mindset students have more depression
- Carol Dweck said, “Education is not about pushing people, it is about teaching people to push themselves.”
- About a test:
- Fixed mindset student thinks a test tells them how smart they are.
- Growth mindset student thinks a test only measures the skills I have right now.
- Parents should talk openly about their struggles so kids can see that everything doesn’t come easy for them either.
- My criticism:
- What about kids of color who have internalized a false inferiority? It takes more to break this circle of negativity.
- What about the gender dimension? Same thing. Girls have fixed mindset that they are inferior, bad at math and science.