Growth vs. Fixed Mindset. Have you jumped on this bandwagon yet? It’s a very helpful way of looking at learning. I’m still in the beginning stages of exploring this idea and passing it on to the kids. It has to do with believing that you can grow your intelligence and abilities by challenging them, like you grow muscles. Instead of trying to explain it, since I’m such a newbie, I will just give you some links to explore on your own.

Here’s Carol Dweck, the scientist who defined mindsets and wrote the book that started the revolution, doing a TED Talk.

Here’s how her website defines mindset.

Here’s the book that started it all.

Here’s a quiz that will help you determine what your current mindset is. And keep in mind, you can have growth mindset about one area but fixed in another.

I find that I have a fixed mindset when it comes to my teaching ability and other things I find challenging. I start telling myself things like “I can’t do this!” and “I would give up if that were an option,” and “I’m done with this.” Failure is a thing to be avoided at all cost because it’s painful and final. These are all counter-productive to increasing my skills. I know it when I’m not in the throes of it. But I find that if Robby even says the words “growth mindset,” I start looking around for the book so I can throw it at him.

Today, working on growth mindset with the kids looked like me telling the kids to work on some math logic puzzles that I bought on TpT until they solved one. Lily was able to do several, even though she had trouble with one a couple of weeks ago. Ian is still trying to solve the first one after 30 minutes. He’s taking a lunch break to improve his attitude, then going back to it. He is my fixed mindset child. (Wonder where he gets it?) There was a lot of “I can’t do it”s and “It’s impossible!”s being thrown around. He gives up VERY easily and so I can see the benefit of helping him learn this concept. But it is taking every ounce of my patience to help him through it. I start looking for ways I can get out of the situation, and my fixed mindset kicks in.

If anyone has any suggestions, I’d be grateful to hear from you!


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