Helping students adopt a ‘growth mindset’

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“Growth mindset” is a term coined by Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck. It means that students who view intelligence as pliable – something they can work towards – show greater persistence when they are faced with difficult tasks. In contrast, students who think intelligence as “fixed” are more easily stumped by setbacks and more hesitant to try new tasks.When students are struggling to find an answer in school, it’s tempting for teachers to want to jump in and help them right away. But research shows that a little struggle – or even a little failure – can be good for students to learn how overcome challenges. This idea has become so popular in education circles that many schools are trying to weave “growth mindset” into the curriculum and make it a part of school culture.

Next week on the podcast, we’re going to hear from an education writer who finds flaws in the growth mindset approach. But this week we’ll hear a story from San Francisco’s KQED about a group of Bay Area schools that’s using growth mindset to help motivate students, and the schools claim to be getting good results. Story by Katrina Schwartz, a writer for KQED’s Mindshift blog.