Teachers are aware right from the very beginning of their careers how important it is to encourage a student to reach their full potential. Students are told many times that they can achieve anything they put their mind to. This trend, however, seems to disappear as students grow older and enter high school and college. But an attitude of being able to do anything with hard work and persistence is still crucial to success.
This concept has been termed Growth Mindset, a means of encouraging students to continually learn more, grow, and keep trying harder. Students who internalize this skill and who firmly believe that it is true have an easier time learning new concepts and subjects, while those who believe that their abilities are fixed and unable to change have a difficult time and generally have lower standards of achievement.
A TED Talk by Eduardo Briceño explains this idea and discussed research on this subject, saying that, “Results showed that the students with the growth mindset--those who thought they could change their own intelligence--increased their grades over time, while those with a fixed mindset did not...The difference between these two groups? A different perception of intelligence.”
Achievements and success are not merely byproducts of natural talent and luck. Most of the time they result from hard work, dedication, and a belief that intelligence is something that can come to everyone. Stanford Professor Carol Dweck stated, “[This] shows that being mastery-oriented is about having the right mindset. It is not about how smart you are. However, having the mastery-oriented mind-set will help students become more able over time.”
Being mastery-oriented, as Ms. Dweck states, is a by-product of the development of executive functioning skills. Executive functioning skills are tools of self-mastery, ways in which students can learn how to handle themselves, their time, and the responsibilities that have been given to them. The development of these skills comes through patience, practice, and hard work, which in turn can lead to patience, practice, and hard work when dealing with new skillsets or other tasks the students will be confronted with. As self-mastery grows, so does a student’s confidence, leading to an attitude of growth mindset. And with a growth mindset, there really is nothing a student won’t be able to achieve.
Does your school offer a program in which students can learn and understand the "Growth Mindset" paradigm? If not, contact Academic Success. Founder and Chief Academic Officer, Lynn Smargis, offers a comprehensive, easy to follow curriculum with engaging activities which gives students the executive functioning skills for Growth Mindset in your classrooms. Check out Student Success 101 FAQ's page for more information.
Briceño, Eduardo. “The Power of Belief: Mindset and Success.” TED. Nov. 2012. Lecture.
Dweck, Carol, and Sarah Green. "The Right Mindset for Success." Harvard Business Review. Web.