Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past ten years -- and if so consider me semi-envious -- you’re likely well versed in the idea of growth mindset versus fixed mindset (a.k.a. Mindset Theory).
In 2006, Stanford University Professor Carol Dweck published one of the most popular and impactful books on this subject. The 277 pages of Mindset have been printed over two million times and translated into more than 20 languages.
If you’ve never read Mindset, the core concept is charmingly simple for educators: if we encourage students to believe they can improve through practice, then they will.
The real sticking power of this premise derives from what researchers call face validity, which basically says that anything that feels like it probably should be true will generally be accepted as such.
In the case of Mindset, our normal experience suggests that the broader conclusions drawn by Dweck should be valid, so we take them at face value.
People with a fixed mindset frequently don’t bother with practice, and accordingly rarely show improvement. On the other hand, people with a growth mindset are motivated to practice and frequently get better as a result.
But is it really this cut and dry?
Is Mindset Theory really the academic magic-bullet it's generally assumed to be?
In my newest 'From Theory to Practice' video, I examine a meta-research study that aims to answer this very question:
To What Extent and Under Which Circumstances Are Growth Mindsets Important to Academic Achievement? (Victoria Sisk et al, 2018)
Here are some of the questions I tackle in this installment: