Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Growth" vs. "Fixed" Minds

Carol Dweck, a Professor of Psychology at Stanford produced a video podcast discussing "Growth" and "Fixed" mindsets. What she is saying is that many students (can also apply to adults) are stuck in a "fixed" mindset. This basically means that they believe they hold a certain amount of intelligence. This affects the way they do their activities, projects, thinking, etc. The first thing they think about before producing something is "will I look smart?" It is kind of like they are afraid of challenging themselves. I can relate to what she is saying here. If I am being completely honest I think I have spend the majority of my life in this mindset, almost putting a cap on learning. I think I could have expanded my educational experiences and knowledge had been taught otherwise.
What she is trying to do here and has done a study on is the concept of the "growth" mindset. This is where students believe in challenging themselves, believing that their intelligence can grow. In teaching this "growth" mindset they see the brain as being a muscle growing with new information learned. They are taught not to be afraid of the unknown, but instead to learn it and expand your intelligence level.
I see a good bit of what Professor Dweck is talking about and doing here. I agree with a lot of what she is saying. However, I do have to give a shout out to my fellow classmate Kitty who kind of made me see it in another light as well. I do not feel that we should attach labels to kids as well, and that learning should work to be more individualized for the kids. Kids learn in many different ways and it is our job to find ways to connect to these kids. However... something very interesting to think about.

1 comment:

  1. The power of positive thinking. I will go back and reread Kitty's comments.