Interesting Carol Dweck piece on ‘Mindset’

Lots of educators and librarians are becoming more and more aware Carol Dweck’s mindset research – the belief that talent and ability our not fixed, but that our efforts, combined with deliberative practice and expert feedback, can help us improve our ability to learn within a particular domain – and, as with any good intellectual idea (cf. the Humanistic Psychology Movement), people have started to adopt a superficial understanding of the idea that leads to poor applications of it.

Dweck has recently addressed some of these misunderstandings in a recent piece in Education Week that’s really worth checking out.

Interesting excerpt:

A growth mindset isn’t just about effort. Perhaps the most common misconception is simply equating the growth mindset with effort. Certainly, effort is key for students’ achievement, but it’s not the only thing. Students need to try new strategies and seek input from others when they’re stuck. They need this repertoire of approaches—not just sheer effort—to learn and improve.

We also need to remember that effort is a means to an end to the goal of learning and improving. Too often nowadays, praise is given to students who are putting forth effort, but not learning, in order to make them feel good in the moment: “Great effort! You tried your best!” It’s good that the students tried, but it’s not good that they’re not learning. The growth-mindset approach helps children feel good in the short and long terms, by helping them thrive on challenges and setbacks on their way to learning. When they’re stuck, teachers can appreciate their work so far, but add: “Let’s talk about what you’ve tried, and what you can try next.”

I thought that was interesting, specifically for librarians, because it shows us how we can be encouraging and helpful to students. We can talk about growth mindset and effort, but also discuss that it’s effective research strategies that librarians can help them with, and that these strategies and asking for help are not supplemental or remedial, but part of the very process of learning itself.

Interesting read.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Interesting Carol Dweck piece on ‘Mindset’

  1. Pingback: Professional Vulnerability and The Process of Growth (Guest Post by Alex Carroll) | Rule Number One: A Library Blog

  2. Reblogged this on Jack Of All Trades and commented:
    I’m doing some reading on how we as librarians can help with the growth mindset. Here’s a start in the last paragraph: “discuss that it’s effective research strategies that librarians can hel them with, and that these strategies and asking for help are not supplemental or remedial, but part of the very proscess of learning itself.”

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