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Student Success Guide: Develop a Growth Mindset

Grow and Learn

What is Growth Mindset

Mindset is a idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success.

In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.

Fixed vs Growth Mindset Statements

 Instead of saying…

Try saying…

I’m not good at this.

I can’t do this yet!

I give up.

I’ll use some of the strategies that I have been taught.

This is good enough.

Is this my best ever work?

I made a mistake, there’s no point now.

This was the first attempt - I will get there eventually. Mistakes help me learn!

This is too hard.

If something is difficult, it means I am learning.

I’m really good at this subject.

I understand this because I have been practising.

I will never be as clever as them.

I will find out how to do it.

I can’t do this.

This will take time to master - practising will help!

I can’t make this any better.

Improvements can ALWAYS be made.

They can’t do this.

How can I help them to understand this?

The Book on Mindset

Persistence and Grit

Why can some people press on through difficult situations, while others give up? Are some people born with “grit,” while others are not? How does grit contribute to excellence? Researcher Angela Duckworth taught seventh grade math for several years, and during that time she began to notice that the amount of effort students were willing to put towards learning made a big difference in their ability to be successful in the classroom. Duckworth went on to study the characteristics of people who are willing to work harder and longer than others, which led to her definition and development of grit as a measure of individual differences.

Since her time as a middle school teacher, Duckworth has published multiple scholarly articles on grit, a New York Times best-selling book entitled Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance, and she has made several presentations on grit, including a TED talk. Duckworth’s research has shown that grit, defined as perseverance and passion for longterm goals, can be increased over time, and that having grit is essential for accomplishing long-term goals and achieving success in life. “The gritty individual approaches achievement as a marathon,” she writes. “[H]is or her advantage is stamina. Whereas disappointment or boredom signals to others that it is time to change trajectory and cut losses, the gritty individual stays the coursei.”

Except from Exploring the Concept of Grit in Education and Beyond By Dr. Paul Gratton and Dr. Brad Faircloth

The Book on Grit

Take the Challenge!: You Can Change Your Mindset and Develop More Grit

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