What would happen if your child embraced a growth mindset?
Dr Carol Dweck is a Stanford professor and one of the world’s leading researchers on motivation. Her research on growth mindsets and fixed mindsets has had a profound impact on The GT Scholars Programme and what we do as an organisation. So what is a growth mindset and a fixed mindset?
Having a fixed mindset means that you believe that your abilities and your talent is fixed and innate.
People with a fixed minset believe that you were either born smart, average or not-so-smart. They often believe that genius amounts of talent must be natural and can’t be developed. They believe that some people are simply not good at Maths and that you’re either gifted in learning foreign languages or you’re just no good at it.
Unfortunately, far too many adults have a fixed mindset when tackling problems and too many children grow up with a fixed mindset especially in schools where setting and streaming is the norm.
For students in the middle set in Science it is easy to believe that they are just ‘average’ in science and they will never move on to study science at university and they will never be a scientist because they were simply not born wih the gift of smartness – at least not in Science.
Having a growth mindset means that you approach problems and challenges with a totally different attitude.
A growth mindset means that you believe that most challenges or problems can be solved with the right approach. You understand that your abilities are not fixed and you can learn how to solve the problem or challenge. You also understand that the process of learning may involve some form of failure.
Children with a growth mindset are more patient with themselves. They understand that when you’re learning to walk, you will probably fall down at some point but this doesn’t mean that you will never learn to walk. Likewise when learning a musical instrument or trying to get an A* in science, they appreciate that they will have to overcome some challenges before reaching the ultimate goal of success.
Young people with a growth mindset understand that their intelligence is not fixed. They understand that you can always learn and improve, they push through failure to reach their success and this is why they are less likely to give up on themselves.
Research has shown that children that children that embrace a growth mindset put more effort into their work. They have greater resilience, they have greater self-discipline and they naturally develop higher academic aspirations.
In addition to this, years of research has shown that children that fully adopt a growth mindset show significant improvements in their academic attainment simply by understanding that their intelligence is not fixed.
So back to the question – What would happen if your child adopted a growth mindset?
To find out more about GT Scholars and how we help young people adopt a growth mindset approach, meet with us at one of our information sessions or taster enrichment events open to parents and young people living in London boroughs.
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