A book review of Mindset-The New Psychology of Success By Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
There are two types of mindsets. Closed mindset and open mindset. Closed mindset is what most people exhibit. This is where people are what they are.They believe there is no changing. For example you are either good at science or you are not good at science. These are the people that think that IQ scores are set no matter what. They take failure hard and believe that there is nothing that they could have done to change the outcome. This belief leads to behaviors such as not studying for a test because that gives them an excuse or because studying means they are not smart.
On the other hand, people with a growth mindset know that there is room for growth. They know that if they did poorly on a test that next time they will have to study more. These are also the people that know that IQ tests are just tests and that they can be improved depending on circumstances or amount of studying that goes into the preparation for the test. These are the people that look at failures as a chance to grow. Their thoughts are along the the line of “Ok, I didn’t do well on this test; for the next test, I will study more”`
How do people get these mindsets? According to the research presented in the book it comes from the people around them or in the case of our students the adults in their lives. When a student does well on a test, if adults tell the students “Oh look how smart you are.” This is reinforcing whatever study habit they did for that test. If they didn’t study for that test but still did well they will not be studying for their next test. A better way to praise students for a job well done is to say “You did very well, you must have worked really hard.” This leaves room for better understanding when they do not do well on a test. This allows students to do some self reflection on what they need to do. As teachers/parents it’s our job to think about the way we praise children. Are we encouraging in a way that encourages a growth mindset? Are we encouraging better work habits?
Post by | Amy Davidson | High School Science
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