A message from Peggy Larson, Ed.D
A Growth Mindset
I recently shared 10 tips to make your children’s learning more visible.
I took the tips from the work of Ron Ritchhart. Hopefully these tips will help make you feel more part of what your child(ren) is/are learning at school.
Each month, I intend to go just a bit deeper into each of the tips. This month we will focus on tip #2.
2. Develop a Growth Mindset.
A belief that intelligence and ability will grow and develop over time, as opposed to these being fixed, encourages greater risk-taking, collaboration, enjoyment of challenge, long-term development, and continuous achievement in all learning endeavors (Dweck, 2006).
You can help develop a growth mindset in your child by focusing your praise on process, learning, and effort.
Consider these type of growth mindset statements:
“You really worked hard on this and have learned a lot."
“You did a great job of developing a plan and following it through."
“You’ve really developed as a musician.”
As opposed to ability statements, such as:
“You’re so clever.”
“Look how smart you are."
“you did that so fast.”
“You’re good at math.”
“You’ve got a lot of talent.”
How do your children face challenges?
Another way to look at growth mindset is how your child takes on challenges at school. Does he persevere through their learning? Possibly this reflects more than him being motivated or resilient. The child's response could result from his mindset - a growth mindset. A growth mindset is a term that describes how a child faces challenges and setbacks. Kids with a growth mindset believe their abilities can improve. By comparison, kids with a
think their abilities are a set trait that can’t change, no matter how hard they try.
Fixed mindset vs growth mindset
Picture a child who struggles with writing and has not met the learning targets. If she’s convinced that she’s “just bad at writing,” and no amount of work will change that, she’s showing a fixed mindset. It is likely that she will stop trying or will not even take “retakes” if offered. If she says she has trouble with writing, but tries to improve and responds to teacher advice/input, then she is showing a growth mindset.
Even how a child approaches challenges isn’t set in stone, according to Dweck. That’s one misconception about growth mindset—that either you have it or you don’t. In fact, we all have a mix of fixed and growth mindsets that change based on our experiences the feedback we receive.
A growth mindset is more than just accepting feedback and being open-minded. Kids with a growth mindset take feedback and what they learn from experience to create strategies for improving. They believe, even if they fail at something today, they still can learn and succeed tomorrow.