About a year ago, I published a post on a book by Dr. Carol Dweck entitled Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. This year, our leadership team at the Indian Hill School District, where I am employed as Director of Communications, opened our professional development program with a visit to the Mindset concepts as we were asked to evaluate how we approach different aspects of our job and our life.
I was reminded how powerful this book is, and how beneficial it can be for everyone, adults and students alike. It is easy to slip into a “fixed” mindset, where you find yourself believing there is no better way, that you are limited in your achievement by factors such as intelligence or skills, that you can’t accomplish more, etc. No person is “all fixed” or “all growth” in their mindset; and likewise, in my experience, I find myself moving between mindsets based on factors such as stress, other people’s behaviors, and even my own interest level in a specific topic. That is why, for me, it is so important to keep these concepts top-of-mind: the more I focus on making sure I’m staying in a growth mindset, the more successful I am at doing so.
But what is fascinating and so important for educators is what Dr. Dweck is finding as she continues her research. In new learnings published just this year, she has discovered that students in a lower socio-economic status are more likely to have a fixed mindset – yet having a growth mindset will actually help propel them significantly farther than their peers. The researchers also showed that a growth mindset among lower-income students was a larger predictor of success than it is for their higher-income peers.
The net is that Dr. Dweck is really on to something here: if we can encourage our children, no matter their socio-economic status, to approach life with a growth mindset, this can only help them in their success. I highly encourage you to read the book and, depending on the age of your child, work with him/her as appropriate to learn and apply these concepts. I have a copy you’re welcome to borrow, or it’s available on Amazon (link above) for less than $10.