Sunday, July 5, 2009

"Growth" Mindset v. "Fixed" Mindset

Stanford University has an interesting podcast posted on iTunes U. It is about the idea of teaching students to have a "growth" mindset instead of a "fixed" mindset. The podcast describes an experiment they did with students to see how each mindset affected them.

According to the podcast, a student with a "fixed" mindset believes that they have only a certain level of intelligence. Students with a "growth" mindset believe that they can increase their intelligence continually through learning new things. In the experiment, they gave one group of students study notes, and for other students taught workshops on developing the "growth" mindset. Those who had study notes continued to decline in their grades. Those who had gone through the workshops showed significant improvement on their grades.

I believe that this is not only relevant for students, but for educators as well. We can certainly implement these ideas for our students, but for ourselves as well. With this new attitude, we as teachers will be more able to achieve success, both with our students, and with our own job performance.

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