“It’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest” - Carol S. Dweck

Scholarship: “A Dalat Student Thinks Innovatively by Demonstrating A Growth Mindset”
“달랏 학생은 성장 마인드셋을 보여줌으로써 혁신적으로 생각합니다”
奖学金: “Dalat学生通过展示成长心态进行创新思考”

“It’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest” – Carol S. Dweck.

What do you think about this statement? Do you believe that intelligence is fixed and something you’re born with, or something that can grow and develop through hard work? That’s the essence of the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset as discussed in Dweck’s work. It’s easy to understand that children grow and develop physically, as we can see the difference in their appearance from year to year.

However, we also believe that kids can grow and develop in their intellect and character. These things may be harder to see and measure, but they are no less true. That’s why developing a growth mindset is one of our student outcome statements (SOS) at Dalat.

So how can parents help to develop a growth mindset in children? According to Dweck, “If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.”

There are a lot of points in this statement that are contrary to many of our natural tendencies. As adults with the responsibility of caring for children, we often try to solve their problems instead of teaching them to love challenges. We’re more likely to judge them for their mistakes than encourage curiosity and help them figure out how to try something different. We too often elevate the status of the success or failure of a final product over the effort required in the journey.

One of the most powerful words to use in developing a growth mindset is the word “yet”. When kids are frustrated with their lack of ability, we can encourage them that they can’t do it yet. This word shows that we have confidence in their ability to continue to grow and learn. With enough time and practice, they will be able to learn and master new skills. This is true in academics, sports, character, and relationships. In fact, it’s a good reminder to all of us that, no matter our age, we still have a lot to learn.

Quotes are taken from Dweck, Carol S. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Random House, 2006.

Written by Shawna Wood

Ms. Shawna Wood is dedicated to mentoring and discipling the next generation. Shawna has a Master of Education and has been at Dalat since 2012, first as Middle School principal and now as Deputy Head of school
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