The Power of a Growth Mindset

As a former English teacher, I used to talk to my students about the importance of transition or foreshadowing words like “yet”. I would tell them that “yet” is such a powerful word because it lets the reader know that something is about to shift. I interpret the message of “yet” in Dweck’s (2014) video as a shift in mindset and way of thinking, which will then shift the way you live your life. By adopting the growth mindset, it changes the way we learn because we don’t focused on the fixed point of a grade as summing up our intelligence or abilities. Rather, we see the possibilities in the learning process. Instead of challenges being seen as setback that cause us to stumble, we view them as challenges waiting to be accomplished to fine tune us and make us better. I think if we focused less on the preoccupation with grades and more on where we are growing, students and people in general would be a lot less anxious, less likely to cheat, less likely to give up, and less afraid to take risks. I found the data fascinating because it supported the idea that students who focus on grades or on how smart they already are actually do not achieve as greatly as the students who focus on the process and the learning opportunities (Briceno, The Power of Belief - mindset and success, 2012 ). In my office, we talk less about where we need to change to be better but we refer to it as growth opportunities. That changes it from being a negative connotation to a positive. We see it less as some inadequacy and more as this ability to tackle head on what we need to be more successful. It doesn’t mean we aren’t successful already, but that we all have opportunities and the capacity to be better. We have had training in our district over the growth mindset and we took a little quiz to show whether we had a fixed or growth mindset. I was pleased to find that I had a growth mindset. I am curious to learn more about how to get students and adults from the fixed to the growth mindset because I know it doesn’t just happen overnight. It is a change in the way we view ourselves and the world. I can’t help but think about my own children when discussing the growth mindset. I find that the growth mindset isn’t necessarily something that can be taught, but it’s something that has to be modeled on a regular basis. I need to show how I handle myself in tough situations and how I take on challenges. I want to display characteristics of the growth mindset on the graphic by not backing away from challenges or giving up when things don’t go my way. I also want to show that I’m not afraid to fail, but that I see it as a learning opportunity. Lastly, I want to build others up around me and not see them as a threat. That’s something I have had demonstrated for me by positive leaders. They want those around them to be successful and are not jealous but celebrate their success!


References

Briceno , E. (2012, November 18). The Power of belief - mindset and success. YouTube URL: https://youtu.be/pN34FNbOKXc

Dweck, C. (2014). Developing a growth mindset (2014). YouTube URL: https://youtu.be/hiiEeMN7vbQ