What kind of mindset do you have?

Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck‘s work is research-based and nuanced, but can be boiled down to a simple (and profound) schema.

There are two mindsets: fixed and growth.

People who primarily have a fixed mindset believe that intelligence, talents and personality are fixed and innate. For people who have a growth mindset, intelligence, talents and personality can be worked on, improved and made better.

The implications of this schema are profound for education. For example, being mindful of these fixed/growth mindset tendencies in students should influence the way we give feedback. (Positive feedback about a student’s innate intelligence is less helpful then praise about the student’s effort and hard work.)

Click on the image below to see Dr. Dweck’s Keynote Address at the 2009 Scottish Learning Festival:


I have been reading Mindset.  It is quite good.

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3 responses to “What kind of mindset do you have?

  1. Karrie Higgins

    I have been reading this, too, and it has really helped me with ideas for helping students re-frame their concepts of success, talent, and effort. And perhaps even more importantly, it helps me re-think feedback to facilitate those changes in mindset.

    So many students suffer severe distress for anything less than a perfect score, and with this book, I have more empathy for why that might be the case + how to help them redefine what it means to put forth effort and succeed.

    “Nurture Shock” has been great, too (it references some of Dweck’s work also).

  2. Karrie Higgins

    It also helps me when I need a little “re-framing,” too!

    Have you had fun thinking about how to use ideas from “Switch” in relation to ideas about mindset?

  3. Interesting lecture. It would be interesting to assess mindsets of our students entering.
    Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed it!

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