Just finished reading Carol Dweck’s ‘Mindset – The New Psychology of Success’.
I think this is an important book for anyone involved in education and very worthwhile for the general reader. Her theory is that there are two basic ways of looking at the world – or ‘mindsets’. One is a ‘fixed mindset’ in which intelligence, talent, ability and skill are fixed. Success in the fixed mindset is about showing how smart you. The other view is the ‘growth mindset’ where success follows learning and failure suggests more effort is required rather than being a statement on any innate qualities.
Dweck draws on the creative sphere, sport, business leadership and importantly from the world of education and parenting to construct and illustrate her argument.
Lots here for teachers and parents especially around positive and negative labels. Most teachers and parents understand how negative labels, eg stupid, clumsy etc, can be destructive. Dweck’s research also points to the destructive nature of positive labels, eg clever, smart, skillfull, talented, creative etc. These positive labels tend to build a fixed mindset, create a fear of failure and consequently hinder both learning and long-term success.