To make the most of my commute I have been listening to podcasts and audiobooks. This week I have revisited the work of Dr Carol Dweck and mindsets. This has been interesting to reflect on in my role as a school leader and as a parent.
Dr Dweck’s key ideas centre around the idea of a fixed and growth mindsets. In a nutshell, a person with a growth mindset sees learning as a challenge and that mistakes as learning opportunities. They believe that hard work pays off and that they may not be good at a particular skill ‘yet’. A person with a fixed mindset would hide their mistakes rather than risk appearing wrong. They think that ability is fixed and if you aren’t good at something naturally then there is not a lot you can do about it. This might be sound like, “I am not a maths person, I am terrible at maths.”
Having a growth mindset equally applies to creative and sporting pursuits as well as academic learning. Your ability to draw or create can be improved over time with practice and effort. It is based on the idea that the brain is malleable and continues to develop over time. In the past people believed that intelligence was fixed, you were either clever or not. We now know this is not to be true. Synaptic connections in the brain are formed through experience and practice. If you have a desire to learn a new school you have to commit to the task.
Like anything, this learning can have an impact on your parenting. If interested here is a link to a great website that provides some insight into parenting with a growth mindset.
Additionally, here is Dr Carol Dweck’s TED Talk on the power of yet. Until I can embed the video, please follow this link.