Sunday, April 5, 2009

"Growth" vs. "Fixed" Minds

In this video podcast, a Professor of Psychology named Carol Dweck discusses the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Mrs. Dweck explains that a fixed mindset is when a person believes that their basic intelligence is a fixed trade. These people worry about if they are going to look smart or be smart before they complete or start a task. They base their activities on whether or not their intelligence will show. People with growth mindsets believe that their intelligence is something they can develop through passion and studying.

Carol Dweck developed a workshop for students, where they we placed into two different groups for eight sessions. One of the groups learned study skills and the other group learned study skills and a growth mindset. The students that were placed in the study skills group, their grades just declined because they had no motivation. On the other hand, the group that was taught the study skills and the growth mindset showed improvement in their grades. The growth mindset sessions included teaching the students that their brain develops everyday and were taught how to apply it to their school work. Even their teachers could tell the difference in the students that were placed in the growth mindset, but the teachers had no idea that there was two different groups.

In my future teaching I believe that I could use this video podcast in many ways. The first would include the mentor part. This would help me become a better teacher because I am a mentor to my students. They look to me for advice and confidence to succeed in the classroom. I will teach my students that same things that were taught to the students that were part of the study skills and growth mindset group. I believe that in our society that the people with the "fixed" mindset have the toughest times, especially in a classroom. There are many activities in a classroom that deal with speaking in front of the class and if my students have the "fixed" mindset, we would get no where in these class discussions.

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