The nature v nurture argument is now shown to be missing the point when it comes to understanding and supporting the development of a person’s potential. The key factor is the mindset (attitude. The mindset of of both the student and their many educators along their life long learning journey:
- growth mindset – potential can be recognised and achieved
- fixed mindset – you’re stuck with the hand your genes dealt you, good or bad
- anyone can change their mindset
- best of all, changing mindsets has massive positive impacts for all involved
Importantly for educators, parents and anyone who values quality life long learning, Dweck shows that simply by praising effort not results we can support and enhance any individuals growth mindset. As someone who once stopped watching sporting friendlies as the pointlessness of the result makes for boring and substandard performances, this seemed all wrong – but life is not sport, and Dweck’s research shows that on an individual basis praising the effort works.
Best of all, put a growth mindset with a support infrastructure that praises effort and a love of the learning process is created and the golden nugget of self motivation, value, thirst for knowledge and experience, greater effort, enhanced growth mindset, self motivation… a virtuous circle.
- Attitude, Attitude, Attitude
- Growth mindset – good
- Fixed mindset – stale and limiting
- Praise effort not outcomes
- Growth mindset and effort create value and motivation
- Creates a virtuous circle
- Mindsets can be changed
- Low boredom threshold is good – factor of growth mindset
Is it based on proper research?
Yes. Although initially the self helpy front cover and format and celebrity story telling technique made me suspicious early on. Stick with it though – it is worth it.
Some Quotes from Mindset
‘The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset.’
‘Not only weren’t they discouraged by failure, they didn’t even think they were failing. They thought they were learning.’
‘ Believing that your qualities are carved in stone – the fixed mindset – creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over.’
‘Is success about learning – or proving you’re smart?’
Even in the growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience. But it doesn’t define you. It’s a problem to be faced, death with, and learned from.
‘…for no matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites (genetic) ability and turns it into accomplishment.’
“You mean I don’t have to be dumb?”
‘But some teachers preached and practiced a growth mindset. They focussed on the idea that all children could develop their skills, and in their classrooms a weird thing happened…The group differences had simply disappeared under that guidance of teachers who taught for improvement, for these teachers had found a way to reach their “low ability” students.