Growth Mindset Revisited

As I started my journey in the DLL graduate program at Lamar University, I was introduced to Growth Mindset and read Carol Dweck’s work. I was blown away by the idea of fixed and growth mindset. I immediately wanted to work on instilling a growth mindset in my seven-year-old. Which was kind of difficult to think how do you change someone’s mindset. One of the first assignments was to create a growth mindset plan. I mostly focused on myself during this assignment. I realized during the reading that I related to both mindsets. I have a fixed mindset at times, and I want to change that in myself. So I focused on myself, but since starting school I have realized I have to instill this in my first graders now. I can only imagine where they will go in life if they figure out how to grow from mistakes now.
So I have started on a new mission, bringing growth mindset to the babies. I have focused mostly on mistakes. Mistakes are ok! We grow from mistakes. If you don’t understand this now, it’s ok because you will. We have focused on the word yet mostly. I’m trying to get my students to catch themselves when they start negative talk and use the word yet instead. I have used the videos from Class Dojo because they really seem to break it down for kids.

I have also showed my students a clip from the movie, Meet the Robinsons. In the video they celebrate failure. What a concept??

As a teacher, I have worked on praise. I try to remember to praise process and not intelligence. I had no idea the effects simply praise can have on students. When praising intelligence research shows that students will suffer when they reach more challenging problems. Where students that have been praised for their grit or perserverance continue to work and try hard when reaching more challenging problems.
I do worry that growth mindset is a current buzz word in education. It is everywhere and I hear a lot of educators discussing it. I feel like the million dollar question for most of us is how do you teach grit? How do you teach students to persevere and continue when things get hard? How do you teach students to be hard workers? I have struggled with these questions my entire ten years in education.

Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York, NY: Random House.

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