Growth vs. Fixed Mindset – Debunking the Dichotomy
In a recent article in Education Week, Carol Dweck revisits her seminal work on Growth Mindset and offers news ways of thinking about this concept that maybe helpful for both classroom and organizational application.
“Growth mindset” is a term that can be overused and become cliche – very easily. I mean, who doesn’t want to declare emphatically that “Indeed! I embrace growth mindset.” That’s the true halo effect at work. But what Dweck does beautifully in this article is to legitimize the reality of fixed mindset predispositions. Most of us have been conditioned by the educational industrial complex to think in absolute terms (all or none), we are uncomfortable with grey areas, and we seek the empirical “truth.” In fact, Dweck warns: “If we ban the fixed mindset, we will surely create false growth-mindsets.” In this way, her most recent article challenges readers to examine the integrity our habits of mind and to realize that developing a growth mindset takes continuous awareness and self-challenge.
Dweck also tackles the concept of growth mindset and student learning. She pushes us to think about how to actually operationalize growth mindsets in our classroom. Praxis based on a growth mindset necessitates continuously challenging student effort. Dweck purports importantly, however, that a growth mindset is NOT just about effort alone:
“Students need to try new strategies and seek input from others when they’re stuck. They need this repertoire of approaches—not just sheer effort—to learn and improve.”
Skills. So now Dweck expands upon her original work by stating that student perceptions of self efficacy rely on a set of skills to problem solve. As I scratch the surface of the information on the competency based education movement, it sounds like embracing a growth mindset and the ability to create as learning go hand in glove.
What challenges do you face creating a classroom culture based on a growth mindset? What does a growth mindset look like in relation to course assessments?
One thought on “Growth vs. Fixed Mindset – Debunking the Dichotomy”
Thank you for sharing this post. Reading through this made me think how fixed mindset can lead to discrimination as well.