Not long ago, growth mindset was described as life-changing. Now it's just a minor factor that might--or might not--help your kids' education. And that's okay
My take on the growth mindset effect wasn’t so much “is it true?”, but “is it a helpful belief?”. If a teacher believes in the concept of a fixed mindset, then what’s the point of teaching less able kids? Similarly if the child believes in a fixed mindset then they may as well give up if they don’t get it right.
Thinking about it that’s the theme behind Angela Duckworth’s “Grit”. Might be worth looking at the data behind that one too!
Hi Stuart, just a note from an old acquaintance - after your name popping up unexpectedly twice in the last week I had to let you know that each time I hear of you (radio 4 soundbites, links to this article on teachertapp) I can't help but giggle at my memories of sharing "enthusiasm" for certain lectures in the Reid Concert Hall and a background in brass banding! Keep up the good work - your writing here made me laugh out loud as much as I remember from your commentary on organ pipe blowing techniques... from Tom Leather (now teaching in an English secondary school where growth mindset had an astronomical rise and a very quiet disappearance)
Any opinion on moral panics, specifically the increase in young females "finding themselves" trans?
New drugs should be administered quickly before they lose their effect.
I try not to be stunned at the absurdity coming from on high, but this....
I think we know everything we're ever going to know about teaching/education. (There is no "yet"). It's hard and important and seems to take talent and patience. It's not a science and never will be. It can be improved with practice like any art, but that's about it. And still people must publish research about it to have careers.
Thanks for following this stuff (and writing about it so well), so the rest of us don't have to.
Scott Alexander has been worried about this for a while as well.
My elementary school became a national blue ribbon school for closing the achievement gap . We began our new school year with Dweck’s Power of Yet in grades K-5. We visited classrooms and observed aspects of a growth mindset. We even heard a primary student whine, “I don’t get it.” Almost immediately another little kiddo in the class chimed in “Yet” to foster the belief. I truly believe that it was our school-wide effort to adopt a growth mindset that made a difference. Of course, we did much more to promote a change in our teachers’ and students’ mindsets. We held monthly staff meetings with micro-learning experiences about how the brain is like a muscle and how new neural networks are made when learning occurs. Mistakes were normalized because the brain learns best through trial and error. Teachers gave students feedback that praised their learning process, not their “smarts” in a particular subject. I believe every child deserves the gift of a growth mindset. Who knows, it might bring back the joy in learning.
Would be interesting if the same held for the 'grit' research, which seems like kissing cousins of 'growth mindset'
It's easy to check Wikipedia and find that Adams was one of those most responsible for the northern Ireland peace process, but apparently it's easier to be snide and ignorant for cheap laughs
Growth mindset was popularized while articles about the replication crisis abounded. It was sad to see how little was being learned, as growth mindset was eerily similar to many other grandiose and fashionable claims that had already been disproved. I wish people had at least asked themselves what growth mindset would imply if it was true and whether these implications were plausible.
The further I read down this summary of the history of growth mindset, the more it seemed to me like a reimagining of the old, old idea of false consciousness.