Mindset: the Psychology of Success

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11 bookStanford professor Carol Dweck has written about having what is called a “growth mindset.” The essence is a belief that one can “make” themselves smarter or reach any other goal with lots of effort and hard work. It is the opposite of a “fixed” mindset where the person believes that he/she does not have power over their own abilities, for example, that the amount of intelligence they were born with is where they will remain. There are many videos on this subject; I haven’t read the book yet, but have listened to Dweck’s ideas and they are really fascinating. When you think certain thoughts over and over, the brain classifies them as “high -priority”, and the pathway between neutrons is coated with a substance called myelin, which speeds up the thought transmission, for example, the first step that you took successfully when learning to walk. So she argues that applying the growth mindset in education, specifically the classroom, will change the way children learn. She has done numerous studies that show that a growth mindset encourages learning, by looking at mistakes as a way to improve, and approaching challenges with a “can-do” attitude. These are just the ideas I came away with, if you are interested, there is quite a bit of information to be had. I’m looking forward to reading the book and implementing some of these ideas…

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