A Growth Mindset: If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again . . .

January 19, 2017

There’s truth in the adage:

‘Tis a lesson you should heed:
Try, try, try again.
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try, try again.

Seeing failure and frustration as opportunities for growth is what Stanford University Psychologist, Dr. Carol Dweck calls a Growth Mindset.  The term Growth Mindset refers to the facts that the brain is malleable and that intelligence can be developed. The more a person tries to do a skill, fails at it and tries again, the better they will get at that skill.  

A Growth Mindset is in contrast to a Fixed Mindset.  A person with a Fixed Mindset tends to behave as though intelligence is static, that they’ve got what they’ve got and that is it.  A person with a Fixed Mindset might feel there is no point in continuing to try, and therefore will never achieve the level of mastery they potentially could.

As you can imagine, students with a Growth Mindset are more willing to take challenges and try new opportunities. Ultimately they are more likely to succeed.  Take a look at the diagram below for ways to encourage a Growth Mindset in your child:

Growth vs fixed mindset

Image credit / source: Nigel Holmes

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