Friday, June 13, 2014

Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck

I just finished reading Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck and before I choose my next book to read, I want to make sure I do a thorough reflection.  That way I will have put in some effort to actually process the book and allow it to best affect my life.  These are essentially my notes.  I would highly encourage you to read the book.  It will affect both your teaching and your outside life.

That was written approximately a week ago...I haven't gotten much farther in my reflection, so I decided "thorough" was perhaps an inappropriate goal.  I need a book to read tomorrow (and I will not have internet), so I'm going to write a short summary...

Mindset refers to the way that you approach challenges and learning.  There are essentially two different mindsets, but it is not a dichotomy.  It is more a scale.  And it is not a set, constant distinction.  A person may exhibit one mindset in one case and the other in a different setting.  But for the purpose of the book, the two mindsets are presented much more separately than they may appear.

One is called the fixed mindset.  When a person has the fixed mindset, he/she feels that the ability to do/know ________ is set in each person.  That causes people to see failure as something that cannot be overcome and may give up.  People who are in a fixed mindset feel threatened by challenges because it shows their lack of ability.

The other mindset is called growth mindset. When a person has the growth mindset, he/she feels that the ability to do/know ________ can change based on how hard a person works.  That causes people to see failure as something that can be overcome through a lot of hard work.  People who are in a growth mindset feel that challenges are a learning opportunity, and relish a good challenge.

Bottom line:  our students need to have a growth mindset in order to do the most learning.  Everyone will achieve more with a growth mindset than a fixed mindset.  That is why this book is important for everyone.



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