Fixed Mindset To Growth Mindset

Rekha Mathews

Principal, Mysore Public School, Mysuru, Karnataka

"Our study show teaching people to have a growth mind set which encourages a focus on effort rather than on intelligence or talent helps make them into high achievers in school and in life.”

Carol S Dweck

The Secret To Raising Smarts Kids, Scientific American.

As parents and teachers, we sometimes cement our children with fixed mindset. Traits such as intelligence, personality, confidence etc. are treated as a hand that we are dealt with and nothing could change them.

A child born today may hold around twenty different jobs in their lifetime; a fixed mindset will then spell doom when faced with work conditions that are unfamiliar to us today. Our belief that we are born with fixed quota of goodies itself will diminish our potential to excel. The awareness of what we are born with is only a starting point and not an end in itself will broaden our horizons in learning.

" The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even it is not going well is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during the some of the most challenging time in their lives.”

Carol S Dweck

In order to change the trajectory from the fixed to growth mind set, the fundamental requirement is to renounce “Stagnation” which is a constant follower of the fixed mind set.

7 Steps To Inculcate Growth Mind Set

Know who you are?

The strength, weakness, talent, scope and topography of your mindset should be familiar to yourself before the world recognizes you. It is on the ‘cross’ of our weakness, we tend to sacrifice our goal. Weakness can be pruned by forming supportive habits and these habits become embedded in our system through discipline.

Cardinals that you should be aware of:

C – CONTRIBUTION

A – ATTITUDE

R – RESILIENCE

D – DEDICATION

I – INCLINATION

N – NOBEL

A – ALLEGIANCE

L – LEARNING

FAILURE – a nudge to change direction

“Test scores and measures of achievement tell you where a student is, but they don’t tell you where a student could end up”

Carol S Dweck

Demonstrate with example how true success in any field is the outcome of umpteen failures. Educators and parents should stop “failure shaming” in order to nurture the attitude towards resilience. By helping the child to try innovative methods to stop the pangs of shame that stems up with failure would initiates them to ask for help.

The Science and Art Of Learning

It is not enough that we are transferring subject knowledge but equal emphasis must be laid on how learning takes place. Assist children in finding their learning styles for eg. auditory visual, reading/writing and kinesthetic styles. Every day contribution leads to permanent learning.

Neuroplasticity – The Game Changer

The ability of the brain to change continuously throughout an individual’s life is caller brain plasticity. Unburden the heaviness of fixed brain function from the tender shoulders of children’s by providing creative, thought provoking experiences which leads to newer neuropathways.

Being an Auto Didactic

Facilitates a learning atmosphere which will help the children to be ‘auto didact’, the gift of lifelong learning. These important characteristics of self-learning can be developed by encouraging them to explore deeply on the topic that they are passionate about and setting own goals and achieve them at their own pace.

Challenges: A Constant Companion

A fixed mindset comes with a ready map to avoid challenges. They are associated with fear and avoiding it will lead to missing out on the larger schemes of life. Instead of focusing too much on the end goal, develop a culture where the process and efforts are celebrated.

Feedback and criticism

Growth mindset accepts feedback and criticism positively. It is seen as a chance to improve ourselves and there are no ego trips. Each time an enhancement is made as a result of constructive criticism, we are that much closer to achieving greater things. Our students have to be taught how to give and take criticism without emotional entanglement.

Rekha Mathews

Principal, Mysore Public School, Mysuru, Karnataka