Mindset by Carol Dweck Adapted for: Monitor Elementary by Victoria Groomer
Workshop Goals • Identify and discuss the difference between fixed and growth mindsets. • Understand how and why mindsets influence student achievement. • Learn how to give feedback and praise to foster growth mindset
What is “mindset”? “Mindset is the multiple assumptions and expectations we have for ourselves and others. These attitudes guide the way we behave as well our reactions to daily events. “The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.”Dweck, 2006
Mindset: Qualities Beyond Intellect Fixed or growth mindsets affect all of a person’s qualities, not just intelligence. Many people believe that our other qualities are either inherent qualities or not such as: • Creativity • Artistic ability • Athleticism • Personality traits However, Carol Dweck asserts that any and all of these qualities can be cultivated. Therefore, a fixed or growth mindset affects social, emotional, and mental development of a child.
Fixed Mindset • Every situation calls for a confirmation of intelligence, personality, or character. Every situation is evaluated: Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? (Do not want to expose deficiencies) • They see what has happened as a direct measure of their competence and worth. • Nothing catastrophic had happened, yet the fixed mindset created the feeling of utter failure and paralysis. • Risk and effort are two things that might reveal your inadequacies and show you were not up to the task. In fact, it’s startling to see the degree to which people with fixed mindset do not believe in EFFORT. • EFFORT is a bad thing; it means you’re not smart or talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need effort.
Responses of the Fixed Mindset: “I feel like a failure”, “I am a total loser”, “Everyone’s better than me”, “Life is unfair.” How do they cope? • Withhold time and effort • Find a comfort - eat chocolate! • Do nothing • Pout • Cry • What is there to do? I can’t do anything about it.
Fixed Mindset Effects Results of a fixed mindset: • a false sense of superiority, undermined by self-doubt. • a fear of failure and, therefore, a refusal to take risks. • a belief that failure defines you as a loser. • a need to prove yourself again and again.
Growth Mindset • If you believe you can develop yourself, you’re open to accurate information about your current abilities, even if it’s unflattering. • Oriented toward learning, you NEED accurate information about your current abilities in order to learn effectively. • Identify own strengths and weaknesses • Can convert life’s setbacks into future successes • EFFORT is what makes you smart or talented.
Responses of the Growth Mindset: • “I need to try harder in class”, “Be more careful when …”, and “I wonder if my friend had a bad day, and how can I help?” How would they cope? Directly. • Studying harder • Use a different strategy • Direct action: “Pay the ticket” • Find a resolution: “Work things out with my friend.”
Growth Mindset Effects Results of a growth-mindset: • an intrinsic love for learning and self-improvement. • a desire to be challenged. • a willingness to work, an understanding that work yields positive results • a belief that you can determine the outcomes in your life through effort and practice. • an openness to learn from mistakes and failures. • emotional resilience
Evidence: Feedback Fixed • People with a fixed mindset were ONLY interested when the feedback reflected on their ability. Brain waves showed them paying close attention when they were told whether their answers were right or wrong. When presented with information that could help them learn, there was no sign of interest. Even when they had gotten an answer wrong, they were not interested in learning what the right answer was. Growth • Brain waves showed they paid close attention to information that could stretch their knowledge. Learning was a priority.
Reflection: When do you feel smart? Fixed mindset: • “When I don’t make any mistakes.” • “It’s when I finish first and it’s perfect.” • “When something is easy for me and others can’t do it.” Growth mindset: • “When it’s really hard, and I try hard, and I can do something I couldn’t before.” • “When I work on something a long time and finally figure it out.”
Handouts • http://www.mindsetworks.com/default.aspx • See handouts: Teacher Feedback Tool, Effort Rubric, Mindset Framing Tool
Mindset and School Achievement As curriculum increases in difficulty from grade to grade: ONLY students with a fixed mindset showed a decline in grades over a 2 year period Excuses: “I’m stupid”, “I’m a loser”, or “It’s the teacher’s fault.” Hard transition is a threat to expose deficiencies – protect ego by not trying Fixed Mindset: Showed an increase in grades over 2 years- ”Do what it takes” for learning attitude
Excerpt: • “…I know most of you can’t spell your name…don’t know how to read…I promise that you will. None of you has ever failed. School may have failed you; Well, goodbye to failure, children. Welcome to success. You WILL read hard books in here and understand what you read. You will write every day… But, you must help me to help you. If you don’t give anything, don’t expect anything. Success is not coming to you. You must come to it.” Result: Children CHANGED. Note from Victoria:I talk a lot in my room about the fact that learning IS transactional. Our kids need to hear this.
Common Core/UBD and Mindset • UBD/Facets of Understanding: Perspective, Self-Knowledge, Interpretation, Explanation, Application, and Empathy “Growth mindset students look for themes and underlying principles and are clued in to all the different ways to create learning and take charge of the learning process to make sure it happens.” “A successful student is one whose primary goal is to expand their knowledge and their ways of thinking and investigating the world. They do not see grades as an end in themselves but as a means to continue to grow.”
Special Education, Behavioral Problems, and Mindset • Fixed mindset teacher: drum the same things into them over and over which comes form the idea that they cannot handle anything else, or have them repeat a grade under the same assumptions of a fixed mindset and no growth is achieved. • “Instead, Marva Collins took inner-city Chicago kids who had failed in the public schools and treated them like geniuses. Many of them had been labeled “learning disabled”, “retarded”, or “emotionally disturbed.” Virtually all of them were apathetic. No light in the eyes, no hope in the face. Collins’ second-grade public school class started out with the lowest level reader there was. By June, they reached the middle of the fifth grade reader, studying Aristotle, Aesop, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Frost, Poe, and Dickinson along the way…students read huge amounts even over the summer. Students read thoughtfully and deeply. Children’s minds had been transformed,”
Teacher’s Fixed Mindset Teacher’s Growth Mindset Focused on the idea that ALL children could develop skill Both groups ended high Group differences disappeared when teaching Give students a means to reach high standards Seek ways to unleash children’s minds Set high standards for ALL students Affection and deep personal commitment to every child Tell students the truth and give them the tools to “close the gap” Give equal time and attention to students – in turn, students give all, and blossom Different achievement levels were deeply and permanently different Students who begin in high-ability group end there Students who begin in low-ability group end there Atmosphere of judging Look at student’s beginning performance and decide who’s smart and dumb Give up on “dumb” ones “Not my responsibility” Don’t believe in improvement, so they don’t try to create it
Assessments and Mindset Fixed Mindset • Students minds are filled, unconsciously, with distracting thoughts and worries, so effort is diverted to these. That means they don’t have enough mental power to do their best on the test. • Reassuring children about their intelligence or talent backfires – afraid to show a deficiency What should we say? NOT: “We know how smart you are. Stop worrying, you’ve got this nailed.” INSTEAD: “I’ve seen the effort you put in. I know that you have learned the material. I’m proud you kept up the effort and kept learning.” “You really studied for your test. You tested yourself on it. It really worked!” “I’m really excited about how yo are stretching yourself now and working hard to learn new things.”
Messages About Success Adult: “You learned that so quickly! You’re so smart!” :Look at that drawing. Is he the next Picasso or what?” “You’re so brilliant, you got an A without even studying.” Child’s Interpretation: “If I don’t learn something quickly, I’m not smart.” “I shouldn’t draw anything hard or they’ll see I’m no Picasso.” “I’d better quit studying or they won’t think I’m brilliant.”
What about students who don’t care to learn or who won’t work? Do not let them give up! “If you do not want to participate, go to the office and tell your mother, “Mother, in this school we have to learn, and Mrs. ___ says I can’t fool around, so will you please pick me up.” It worked. When students understand that school is for them – to grow their minds- they do not want to sabotage themselves. Students do NOT stop caring.
What about students who worked hard, but didn’t do well? “I liked the effort you put in, but let’s work together some more and figure out what it is you don’t understand.” “Everyone learns in a different way. Let’s keep trying to find the way that works for you.” *This is very important for children with learning disabilities. On the other hand: What about students who complete tasks quickly and perfectly? Should we deny the praise they have earned? (Get ready…this is radical!) Yes! “OOPs, I guess that was too easy. I apologize for wasting your time. Let’s do something You can really learn from.”
The Danger of Praise and Positive Labels Proven during multiple research experiments conducted by Dr. Dweck: Ability Praise (Intelligence): Pushed students into a fixed mindset Rejected new challenging task Didn’t want to expose flaws/call talent into question Thought they were not smart after all Less success meant they were deficient Burden of talent killing enjoyment Performance plummeted, even when given easier problems Lost faith in themselves Imperfections are shameful Effort Praise: 90% wanted challenging new tasks Applied more effort Difficulty was not a reflection on their intellect Hard problems – “most fun”, “sharpen skills” Showed continual improvement in performance When returning to easier problems, students were “way ahead” “There is a danger when putting positive labels – gifted, talented, brilliant – on people that we can, unintentionally, rob them of their zest for challenge and their recipes for success.”
“Great teachers start with the growth mindset – a deep desire to reach in and ignite the mind of EVERY child. They are out responsibility. The growth mindset has a key role in helping us fulfill our mission and in helping them fulfill their potential.” Grow your mindset!