October 12, 2015

What is Mindset? – Mrs. Neider

As a faculty at John Hancock Charter School, we are always looking for better ways to reach our students and help them succeed even when they fail. One such idea helping students to adjust their mindset in order to reach their true potential. The excerpt below comes from the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.

WHAT IS MINDSET?

Every so often a truly groundbreaking idea comes along. This is one. Mindset explains: Why brains and talent don’t bring success. How they can stand in the way of it. Why praising brains and talent doesn’t foster self-esteem and accomplishment, but jeopardizes them. How teaching a simple idea about the brain raises grades and productivity. What all great CEOs, parents, teachers, athletes know. Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference.
In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.
Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports. It enhances relationships. When you read Mindset, you’ll see how.

Mindsets are beliefs—beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities. Think about your intelligence, your talents, your personality. Are these qualities simply fixed traits, carved in stone and that’s that? Or are they things you can cultivate throughout your life? People with a fixed mindset believe that their traits are just givens. They have a certain amount of brains and talent and nothing can change that. If they have a lot, they’re all set, but if they don’t… So people in this mindset worry about their traits and how adequate they are. They have something to prove to themselves and others.

People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, see their qualities as things that can be developed through their dedication and effort. Sure they’re happy if they’re brainy or talented, but that’s just the starting point. They understand that no one has ever accomplished great things—not Mozart, Darwin, or Michael Jordan—without years of passionate practice and learning.

TEST YOUR MINDSET at http://mindsetonline.com/testyourmindset/step1.php

For more information visit Carol Dweck’s Mindset website at http://mindsetonline.com/index.html

Jeanine Neider
3rd Grade Teacher

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