As I researched on this Growth Mindset theory on my own, it intrigued me so much that I decided to implement this in my Art Classes for this particularly unmotivated and filled with low self- esteem class. For half a year, this class posed a major distress to majority of teachers from all subjects.
The struggle to maintain class discipline took every ounce of energy I have and I always ensure I had a full breakfast before entering this class of 9 to 10 yo. I literally felt like a Zoo trainer with the noise and antics displayed in just 1 hour on good days while it felt the below on bad days. My other classes were manageable and quite orderly with this and perhaps another class’ exception.
However, after discovering the many broken news of individual’s background, I realised that what this class needed was a renewed mindset for renewed confidence! As I studied more on this growth mindset theory, I was excited to find a concrete way of helping my pupils shift their fixed mindset to a growth one!
I plan to blog a mini series of The heArt of Growth Mindset Series to
- Record my journey with this class
- Reflect on my teaching practice
- Receive any other enriching feedback to other good mindset practices from you
- Share my resources and ideas with you.
This post will cover
- What is Growth Mindset?
- Why is it important to teach Growth Mindset?
Before going into my mini lessons I conducted with the class, here’s an introduction and sharing to help shed some light for those new to this research. Only with a better understanding of this mindset concept, can we the parent/educator help our children/pupils grow in their mindsets!
1. What is this study of Fixed and Growth Mindset?
Basically, this phenomenal study was pioneered by Carol Dweck and her team in Mindset. I set my case based on ‘The Growth Mindset Coach’ by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley. Extensive research and experiments were collected to debunk the claim that people are born with static ‘intelligence, creativity, athleticism, and other qualities’. In fact, in the growth mindset, the above mentioned qualities can be developed given the proper nurturing circumstances. In other words, TIME + EFFORT can change one’s state of qualities.
Mindset is distinguished into
a) FIXED MINDSET: Assumes that intelligence and other qualities, abilities, and talents are fixed traits that cannot be significantly developed.
b) GROWTH MINDSET: Assumes that intelligence and other qualities, abilities, and talents can be developed with effort, learning, and dedication.
Let’s put it in our local context. When we remark that ‘Ah boy, you’re so smart! You can answer this difficult question!’ This statement presumes that the child is born with natural smart genes which made him capable of performing a task of let’s say, a maths challenge. It also has an underlying inference that the opposite is true, if you cannot do this, you are ‘stupid/ not as smart’. This very mindset is a fixed one as they believe a stupid person cannot become smart or that a smart person can get the question right because of his genes not because of his hard work or strategic solving methods used.
In contrast, the Growth mindset will remark ‘Ah boy, that is a good effort in solving the question, can you share the process of how you got that? We can all learn from each other.’ This shift from natural talent to use of good thinking strategy signals that this question can be solved with some strategic thinking and effort in practising when someone wants to learn the answer.
We are just at the tip of the iceberg here.
Here’s a good video to illustrate the fixed and growth mindset.
Another video that succinctly helps us first of all, change OUR OWN MINDSETS would be this video for the parents/educators. How to help fulfil your children/pupils’ potential. Carol Dweck’s Research unraveled the astonishing fact that when we praise a child/person for their intelligence, it stifles them from wanting to do challenging tasks since they wish to continue to be seen as ‘smart’ without working hard. It thus sets them up into a fixed mindset that failing is a no, no, because it means they are ‘not smart’.
In contrast, when praised for the PROCESS, the child becomes more accepting of failures, and in fact welcomes challenges as they see it as an opportunity to grow. The video below is about 10mins long. It however beautifully encapsulates the Key concept of Carol Dweck and her team’s mind-blowing work! This post is meant for the adults, not for kids. I will do the Growth mindset resources in my other posts for kids.
- Why is it important to teach Growth Mindset?
This video explains how it works and why it is important to have such a mindset.
Here, Trevor Ragan also brings out the fact that there is no Either Or categorising of mindsets. It is a continuum where sometimes you may be fixed in the mindset but change to a growth one, or you might slip back into the old fixed mindset.
Question for you: Do you exhibit more of a fixed mindset or a growth mindset?
‘Most likely, you display both. Growth and fixed mindsets are dichotomous ideas that exist on a spectrum, and even though you may have designs on becoming a fully realized exemplar of growth mindset, you’ll likely always be on your journey towards that ideal. We must recognize and accept that we’re all a mixture of the two mindsets – growth and fixed – and, although it may become more intuitive with practice, we’ll always have to be intentional about employing our growth mindset. ‘
Click Here for a short test on your mindset.
If you have seen all the videos in this post, you would have spent approximately 25 mins absorbing the two mindsets.
I shall stop here before your mind switches off….
Thank You for reading up till here! I hope this post has inspired you to think about your thinking and give you something to look forward to have a Hearty Growing Mind! : )
Do follow us if you wish to journey with us on our growing Hearts through growing Minds! I will be touching on resources that I use to teach my class in The heArt of Growth Mindset Series 1.
*italised fonts above are quotes from The Growth Mindset Coach by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley
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