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Recognizing and Overcoming False Growth Mindset

Examples of a false growth mindset include praising effort over progress, affirming students' potential without enabling them, and blaming their mindset instead of refocusing it.

All educators care deeply about their students’ motivation. They want them to love learning, and to be resourceful and persistent in the face of learning challenges. They don’t want their students to lose heart when they get stuck, make mistakes, or receive disappointing grades. In this context, the growth mindset entered the scene.

A growth mindset is the belief that you can develop your talents and abilities through hard work, good strategies, and help from others. It stands in opposition to a fixed mindset, which is the belief that talents and abilities are unalterable traits, ones that can never be improved. Research has shown (and continues to show) that a growth mindset can have a profound effect on students’ motivation, enabling them to focus on learning, persist more, learn more, and do better in school. Significantly, when students are taught a growth mindset, they begin to show more of these qualities.

 

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