Reflecting on a growth mindset for learning success

Carol Dweck’s groundbreaking work on growth mindset is still is as relevant as ever because it’s central to our ‘learning to learn’ mentality and developing grit.  Check out the first of our articles in the Growth Mindset series and run yourself through the following reflections and ask yourself honestly to see where your mindset is at:

  1. I know that when I fail, it’s just an opportunity to learn from my mistakes so I can improve my performance.
  2. When I think I’m likely to fail I avoid the challenge.
  3. When someone does better than me at something I’m good at, I feel unsure about my abilities.
  4. My basic level of intelligence is fixed and no amount of effort will change that.
  5. When I’m given feedback I can feel defensive.
  6. Although I can learn new things, if I’m not naturally talented I’ll never be really good at them.
  7. People who are really good at maths are born with that ability.
  8. If I put effort in and keep trying, I believe I can substantially increase my intelligence.
  9. When I’m given feedback I use it to improve my performance.
  10. When someone is more skilled at something than me, I learn everything I can from them to increase my own performance.
  11. I don’t feel stupid if I don’t get something immediately. I know I’ll improve with effort.
  12. I can improve all areas of my life by developing my strengths and abilities.
  13. I celebrate my successes and recognise all of the effort and perseverance that helps me to achieve my goals.
  14. When I approach a new challenge I remember other times that my hard work resulted in success.

If you answered True for 1, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12,13,14 these are all chararacteristic of a growth mindset.  If you answered True for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, these are all characteristic of a fixed mindset.  Of course, we’re all a bit of both and it does depend on the context of the situation, but working on strengthening your growth mindset beliefs will help to boost the perspective on learning for you and others in your whānau.  Pick one of the growth mindset statements to keep front of mind, and collect evidence of its truth as you reflect on life experiences, past and present.

Next up, growing a growth mindset!

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