“It’s not that I am so smart, its that I stay with the problems longer”- Albert Einstein.
Although these are just a few words from Albert Einstein, they mean a great deal when it comes to developing the mindset. Having a PhD in Psychology, Carol Dweck has characterized two different mindsets after multiple studies.
One of the mindsets is called a growth mindset. Individuals with a growth mindset have a hunger for gaining knowledge throughout life. Furthermore, failures seem like an opportunity to learn and strive to achieve higher goals.
On the other hand, a fixed mind lets the individual have a fear of failure. They believe that all individuals are born with intelligence, and it is not changeable. As a result, they do not set higher goals for themselves.
The role of education plays a vital role in developing a particular mindset. Both educators and parents are responsible for teaching the young ones that achieving anything in life is possible.
Carol Dweck’s Studies
Carol Dweck, an American psychologist, studied over 1000 students’ behaviors. She noticed that some students rose back to their feet after small setbacks while others were devastated by their failures. Hence, she concluded her findings into two terms, growth mindset and a fixed mindset.
Advanced research shows that the human brain is more adaptable than we ever encountered. Research shows that the connectivity between neurons changes with experience. In other words, neural growth is in our hands. The connections become stronger when using different strategies, finding answers to questions, and having a healthy lifestyle.
Furthermore, studies have shown that there is a direct link between mindsets and achievement. For example, a group of 7th graders was taught and encouraged to believe that intelligence is malleable, which resulted in lots of efforts. Hence, they were able to achieve excellent grades in mathematics.
Two Types of Mindsets
People with a fixed mindset are prone to believing that intelligence and abilities are inherent and fixed. So, no matter how hard they try, they will never exceed the limit of inborn intelligence. This type of mindset leads to a setback in achieving higher personal goals. People with such a mindset lose the belief of succeeding after a failure. Hence, failure is a dead-end for them.
On the other hand, people with a growth mindset are well aware of the fact that that some people are born with natural intelligence. The thing that makes them stand out from the crowd is the belief that working hard and learning new skills will eventually lead them to success. They do not give up easily when there is a failure. They embrace challenges, gain information, and seek inspiration from others to give out the best of their abilities.
The Role of Education in developing Mindsets
The goal of education should not be to pass the skills and knowledge only. Instead, education should teach the student the ability to problem-solve and take on challenges. This way, the student will be well-prepared to tackle an issue outside the school and later on in life. Both parents and educators have an equal role in developing a growth mindset.
Educators Role in Developing a Growth Mindset
Education is broader than achieving a particular course or degree. Research shows that students’ mindset plays a crucial role which affects how comfortable and motivated they are when faced with a new or difficult problem. Students with a growth mindset have been able to take on difficulties and challenges more effectively than those with a fixed mindset. Hence, educators should incorporate growth mindset strategies in their interaction with students.
Parents Role in Developing a Growth Mindset
Likewise, parents should encourage their children to explore, embrace new experiences, and enjoy challenges. Encouragement and appreciation to both success and failures help immensely in the early stages of developing a mindset.
Parents should focus on the process of hard work rather than the outcome. For example, instead of commenting “you are so smart”, a parent should give an insightful comment like “I like the choice of colour of that picture.” It sends a message to the child that the efforts, hard work, and dedication are more important than being smart. It enhances growth in the present and the future.