I first came across the concept of fixed mindset back in 2002 when reading Malcolm Gladwell’s article, “The Talent Myth.” He used the Enron scandal to illustrate how smart people (that is people praised for being smart) perpetuated a scandal. His argument was based in the mindset theories of Carol Dweck. What made sense to me as a teacher was how praising students for being smart often led them to take fewer risks and rest on their laurels as opposed to students praised for working hard or persevering. Those students often kept taking risks, kept working hard, and often showed the biggest improvements. Likewise, athletes praised for natural ability tended to disregard feedback and work less whereas athletes praised for their work ethic listen to feedback and worked harder.
Mindsets have implications beyond our students. What about teachers and coaches who are praised for being smart/accomplished? Or superintendents? Do we engage in learning and hard work despite that praise? Do we seek to grow through learning? Or do we believe we know it all and thus are fixed in our beliefs and practices?
Here is my updated list of growth mindset resources:
- Start here with Carol Dweck’s short 3-minute video on praise.
- This is a lengthier RSA Animate video explaining Carol Dweck’s teachings. Very appropriate and engaging for students
- “What Having a ‘Growth Mindset’ Actually Means” from Carol Dweck’s article published earlier this month in the Harvard Business Review
- “Recognizing and Overcoming False Growth Mindsets” by Carol Dweck explores how growth mindsets are misunderstood and misused
- Dweck published an article “Revisiting the Growth Mindset”
- This is a superb blog post from Shane Parrish (Farnam Street) summarizing Carol Dweck’s teachings which also includes another video from Dweck herself.
- This is another superb blog post from Maria Popova of the Brain Pickings blog which summarizes Dweck’s work
- “Common Misconceptions About Growth Mindsets” is a great article about the misuses of growth mindsets
- Vicki Davis shares 10 Growth Mindset Statements and another video
- An “Effective Effort Rubric” shows how fixed, mixed, and growth mindsets are displayed
- Larry Ferlazzo has a web page devoted to Growth Mindset
- “New Research: Students Benefit from Learning that Intelligence is Not Fixed” by Ingfei Chen spells out the direct implication for education
- “How to Normalize Mistake Making and Struggle in Class” has practical suggestions for teachers
- “How to Weave Growth Mindset Into School Culture” is a great article explore the wide-ranging effects growth mindset can have on a school
- “Never Too Late: Creating a Climate for Adults to Learn New Skills” addresses the issue of how to move our adults (teachers, staff, parents) toward a growth mindset
- “The Logic Behind the ‘Illogical’ Mindset of Students and Families in Poverty” by Angela Watson
- 25 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset by InformEd
- 7 Reasons School Leaders Need a Growth Mindset by Corwin Connect
- “The Intersection of Growth Mindsets and Maker Education” explains the growth of maker education
- “How to Help Students Develop the Growth Mindset with #20 Time” is based on the Google strategy of allowing employees to devote some of their time on their own interests
- “Growth Mindset Toolkit for Parents” is a great resource
- Helping Struggling Students Develop a Growth Mindset by Edutopia
- Want to Raise Successful Kids? Praise Them Like this by INC
- Why Growth Mindsets Aren’t Working in Schools…Yet by Edsurge
- “Don’t Call Kids ‘Smart’” by the Atlantic
- Recognizing and Overcoming ‘False Mindset’ by Edutopia
- Lee Araoz’s collection of Growth Mindset resources
- Doug Lemov’s guide to praise from Carol Dweck
- Larry Ferlazzo’s lesson plan on growth mindset
- Richard Byrne’s technology big ideas on growth mindset
- Harvard Business Review’s What Having a Growth Mindset Means
Make sure to read her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” which is just one of the three books highlighted in this article.