Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Growth Mindset

JG just sent the following to all staff:

More than three decades of scientific research suggests that repeatedly telling children (and teens) that they are especially smart or talented leaves them vulnerable to failure, and fearful of challenges.

Children raised this way develop an implicit belief that intelligence is innate and fixed, making striving to learn seem less important than seeming smart; challenges, mistakes, and effort become threats to their ego rather than opportunities to improve.

However, teaching children to have a "growth mind-set," which encourages effort rather than on intelligence or talent, helps make them into high achievers in school and in life. This results in "mastery-oriented" children who tend to think that intelligence is malleable and can be developed through education and hard work.

This can be done by telling stories about achievements that result from hard work. Talking about math geniuses who were born that way puts students in a fixed mind-set, but descriptions of great mathematicians who developed amazing skills over time creates a growth mind-set.

Sources: Scientific American Growth Mindset Article

I'm sharing it here to remind myself that we committed to doing some work with Strengths Based Approach and I feel it falls by the wayside. The growth mindset work is consistent with that work, but somehow we've never figured out how to translate "a commitment to SBA" to "our work with the staff."

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