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.