Children are told the story of the tortoise and hare. Most identify with the hare, and rather than plodding along slowly, would prefer to be a more savvy version of the hare- naturally talented but not taking a nap in the middle of a race. In contrast, individuals with a growth mindset believe in practice. 10,000 hour rule.
From Ericsson et al. Same pattern seen in professional pianists. Could not find any “naturals” or “grinds” (people who worked harder than everyone else, but couldn’t break the top ranks). 10,000 hours are required to become a world class expert in anything. True of even those we consider prodigies. Bill Gates- access to University of Washington computer lab- spent every spare minute there- more than 10,000 hours programming by time he was a sophomore in college.
From: http://www.scilearn.com/alldocs/rsrch/30388RAExtra10minEduBrief.pdf20% of students spend less than one minute per day reading books.
Contrast McEnroe, who never wanted to work hard, who always blamed others for his failures- with Michael Jordan- who was cut from his high school basketball team or Abdul-Jabar, who practiced other shots when his trademark dunk was disallowed. In children- they avoid obstacles or challenges. Study of 4th grade students
Enron as characteristic of fixed mindset. For children- if they believe they are “smart” then any criticism of something they do, then they hear “you’re not smart.”
As parents, we want our children to feel good about themselves. But the above messages tell the child we value them for their innate talents and leads them to avoid challenges or any tasks that might put others’ views of their talents at risk.
UPS is Understand Plan SolveKITE is Know problem, Identify solutions, Try one, Evaluate
Encouraging a growth mindset Vickie Schafer, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist Licensed Specialist in School Psychology
Mindset Finding Potential by Emphasizing Growth
Two Mindsets Fixed mindset Growth mindset Believe that traits are static and that abilities cannot be improved Believe that traits can be developed and improved
Two Mindsets Fixed mindset Growth Mindset Primary desire is to appear “smart” or able to do a task with ease Which leads to: Avoidance of Challenges Primary desire is to Improve Which leads to: Embracing Challenges
Mindset Views on Effort Fixed Mindset Growth Mindset View effort as useless, or as proof of one’s lack of innate ability. Believe that effort is for those who are not fortunate enough to be “smart” or naturally talented. See effort as a path to mastery. Effort is viewed as something necessary to grow and master useful skills.
Approach to Obstacles Fixed Mindset Growth Mindset Give up easily Blame others or outside factors when they fail as a method to maintain self-esteem, which is tied to belief of innate ability Persist in the face of setbacks See Failure as an opportunity to learn Enjoy the process, not just the outcome
Response to Criticism Fixed mindset Growth Mindset Ignore criticism Take criticism as an insult, since believe skill or ability is stable and an essential feature of self, rather than something that can change Learn from criticism Do not take criticism personally, since the criticism is of the skill that can be improved with appropriate feedback and practice
Messages for our Children I am going to teach you Not “I’m going to judge your talent.” Set high standards, with the expectation and belief that the child (with hard work) can reach them. “There are no shortcuts, There is no magic here.” Tell children the truth and give them the tools to close any gaps.
Praise to Avoid “You did that so quickly, you are really smart!” “This is easier for you than for most children, I’m really proud of you.” “You are a natural at ______________” “You are really smart (creative, athletic)”
Praise to Give Focus on the Process: “You worked really hard on that math assignment. I like how you take a challenge and learn when things are difficult.” “Remember when you started first grade and you could only write in capital letters? After working all year, you have learned how to write with lower case letters.”
More Praise and Encouragement: “I love to see how excited you are about learning something new.” “I am impressed that even though ballet was not fun for you at first, you stuck with it until you got to do more interesting and challenging things.” “I know that learning math facts seems difficult, but you are growing your brain each time you work on it.”
How to respond to setbacks I noticed that you missed some words on your spelling test this week. Do you have some ideas on how you might be able to learn them better next week? I have noticed that you are really frustrated with completing your math work sheets. Do you think we could figure out a strategy to help you enjoy this opportunity to practice something new you have learned?
Practice and Demonstrate a Growth Mindset Regularly talk about things you have learned or challenges you are facing- even as a parent! Emphasize how challenges and setbacks resulted in improvements. Tell stories of your childhood and challenges you overcame with hard work. Practice problem solving strategies (KITE or UPS)