Growth or Limited Mindset

How does our mindset change the expectations and interactions teachers have with students? “[Effort], like failure, means you’re not smart or talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need effort.” This reflects a limited growth mindset. “In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented.” (Dweck, 2006, p. 16).

How often have you heard a teacher say “she’s not really smart, she’s just a hard worker.” Or “she’s really smart, she gets great marks without trying.” Certainly this type of bias filters down to the students’ self-perception and beliefs about being smart and talented. We celebrate “natural talents”, like Mozart, and dismiss hard workers, like Salieri (Amadeus).

How does this contribute to student outcomes?


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