Growth vs Fixed Mindset: Carol Dweck

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 11.44.09 AM(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:
    • Fail
    • 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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s