Monday, September 14, 2015

Growth Mindset? What's That?

Recently Teachers have been reading, learning and talking about Growth Mindset, and they are really excited about it!  All the buzz is related to a book called Growth Mindset,  by Carol Dwek.  Carol Dwek, Ph.D., is one of the world's leading researchers in the field of motivation and is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.  Her research has focused on why people succeed and how to foster success in people.  Parents and teachers are alike in their desire to see children grow, learn and succeed.  This research is worthy of our attention and consideration.

In brief, her research suggests that how adults praise children can encourage or discourage them in terms of their ability to work though challenges, to accomplish goals and learn from their effort.  

As adults, we know that most important things in life require work, time and effort.  However, we often praise children for things that come easy to them. We say, "Wow! You got and "A" in math.  You must be smart", or "You are a talented basketball player!"  

Dr. Dwek found that when children are praised for their intelligence or abilities, they are significantly less motivated to put forth effort to succeed.  On the other hand, when children are praised for working through struggles and challenges, they develop positive attitudes about the effort required to accomplish goals.  

Teachers across the country are implementing many of Dr. Dwek's principals to help their students see that putting forth effort to learn is a necessary skill that can be developed and used throughout their lives.  

Resilience is the ability to accomplish a goal or task even when it is challenging and difficult.  All of us need resilience to be successful in our careers and our personal lives.  I hope you will go online to look up more information about Dr. Dwek's research.  I have added just one of the many  links to videos in which Dr. Carol Dwek explains her findings with greater detail.  

And...I want to thank you for persevering to the end of this blog post!!

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