Is the growth mindset craze overblown?


Last week on the podcast, we ran a story about “growth mindset,” a popular term in education that came from Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck. Growth Mindset is the idea that children are more apt to succeed if they believe that intelligence is something that’s achievable, and not something that’s fixed. Educators who espouse a growth-mindset approach also believe that teachers and parents should praise kids’ effort instead of praising their inherent ability.

But some people believe the craze over mindset is overblown. This week, we hear from Alfie Kohn, a critic of the growth-mindset movement. Kohn is a writer who covers education and parenting, and is a self-described contrarian. He recently wrote an article for Salon called, “The perils of ‘Growth Mindset’ education: Why we’re trying to fix our kids when we should be fixing the system.” ARW Senior Correspondent Emily Hanford interviewed Kohn for the podcast this week.

Also by Alfie Kohn: “The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom about Children and Parenting.”