Blaming the Student’s Mindset
Perhaps the most discouraging thing that I’ve heard is how some educators are blaming children’s mindsets for their failure to learn. A parent recently wrote me a heartrending letter. Her daughter had been in a wonderful school that, using growth mindset principles, made her feel like an effective learner, even when learning came slowly and with difficulty. She then went to a different school, where children were scolded and shamed — in the name of a growth mindset — for not persevering and learning effectively.
It is the educator’s task to create a growth mindset classroom. In the safety of these classrooms, students can begin to leave behind their fixed mindset and try out the idea that they can develop their abilities. We see this happening when teachers give students:
- Meaningful work
- Honest and helpful feedback
- Advice on future learning strategies
- Opportunities to revise their work and show their learning