What is a Growth Mindset?
The concept of a growth mindset was been developed by psychologist Carol Dweck.
A mindset is a 'self-theory' that people believe about themselves. Believing that you are 'clever' or 'useless at something' are examples of mindsets. Children can develop mindsets which have a profound effect on their learning, relationships and success in life.
Dweck has formed a distinction between 'fixed' and 'growth' mindsets. Fixed is one where the person believes they have a certain level of talent or intelligence that can't be changed. You have heard people say, "Well I am just rubbish at Maths" or "She is a natural at it, not like me". They don't see any way to change this. After this, poor performance might confirm they can't learn or will be a 'fluke' if they do well. The next step is often to rationalise failure with thoughts of 'I would have done better if I practised, but I just don't have time'.
The alternative is the growth mindset. Where the
person believes that their abilities can be developed through
dedication and hard work. Your brains and talent are just the
starting point. This builds resilience and the belief that they
can learn more, become smarter and will get to where they want to
with effort. Mistakes are just hurdles on the way and help them
to learn by making them look at other ways around the
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