Failure to a person with fixed mindset casts doubt on one’s “global permanent intelligence,” be avoided (Dweck, 2000, p. 27). A growth mindset person views failure as an indicator of a of skill or inadequate strategy used. This realization spurs the person to modify one’s strategy harder to master the skill. Failure is feedback of a particular moment in time not an indicator of permanent intelligence.
- In Gail Grabner's Intro to Biochemistry class, when a student states that "I don't get it," she adds "Yet." She reminds them that if they persist in the process of learning that they can "get it."
- Praise effort, persistence, and grit rather than "being smart." Share your own experiences with struggling to learn a concept.
- Share effective study strategies early in your course and well in advance of the first exam. Even students with Fixed Mindsets are open to new strategies before they are tested. After failing, folks with a fixed mindset are not as open.
- Have students read an article about how the brain actaully responds to learning.
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