Math and Growth vs. Fixed Mindset
- January 16, 2019
- Posted by: SumLogix Team
- Category: Psychology
Do you know that your child’s “mindset”, which affects the way your child approaches challenges, is more important than his or her intellectual abilities in determining his or her future success?
Dr. Carol Dweck from Stanford University has conducted extensive research on the mindset of children. She has identified two types of mindsets: “Growth” and “Fixed”. Based on Dr. Dweck’s research, the following lists contrast some of the characteristics of children with growth and fixed mindsets.
1. Children with a growth mindset believe that their intellectual abilities can be developed and that their abilities “grow” as they work through challenging problems.
2. When faced with a challenging problem, children with a growth mindset will try harder and persist.
3. Even though they might not reach the correct solution, they enjoy the process of solving difficult problems.
4. These children view failure as something that they can overcome with effort.
1. Children with a fixed mindset believe that their intellectual abilities are “fixed” and something that they were either born with or not.
2. When faced with a challenging problem, children with a fixed mindset will show signs of frustration, such as, crying, blaming the problem or the problem giver, blaming the test as being too hard, refusing to work, etc.
3. They are likely to “give up” when faced with a challenging problem.
4. These children view failure as something that they cannot overcome since they believe that they were not born with the abilities to achieve success and they cannot do anything to change that.
Dr. Dweck’s research has shown that the mindset of a child can significantly impact his or her learning, and achievement in all aspects of life. Children in a growth mindset are more likely to succeed, since they are better equipped to overcome failures and to persist through challenging situations. However, children in a fixed mindset might not be able to realize their full potential, since they are unable to handle failures.
As a parent, you obviously want your child to have the growth mindset. However, if your child is in a fixed mindset, you do not need to despair. Parents and educators can work on the mindset of a child and change it.
1. Identify whether your child is in a “growth” or a “fixed” mindset. In our next blog, we will give some ways you can use to identify the mindset of your child.
2. Talk to the child about how their abilities can grow through hard work and persistence.
3. Assign challenging work and monitor the reaction. Math is one subject that can be used to identify a child’s mindset. Math offers problems at all difficulty levels to challenge the child just slightly beyond his or her capability.
We hope that this blog and future blogs on this topic will help you identify the mindset of your child, address any issues you might identify and set him or her on a path to success.