Math Musings

Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset Concept Helped to Differentiate my Teaching Approach

by | May 14, 2020 | Video

One of the first things I did when I decided to make teaching my business was to research on why kids get Math anxiety and how to motivate them. 

And so, I discovered Carol Dweck. She’s a world-renowned Stanford University psychologist who authored the best-seller book Mindset. According to Carol Dweck, there are two types of mindset, a Fixed Mindset and a Growth Mindset. Her theory of these two mindsets resonated with me personally. I was not born with talent in studies, but I had a positive mindset to learning.

A student with a Fixed Mindset will say– “I just can’t learn math; I’m not good at it” 

  • A Fixed Mindset person only believes in talent. And talent is in the genes. It’s like…If I’m born smart then I’m smart. 
  • A Fixed Mindset person also gives up when things get hard

On the other hand, a Growth Mindset student will say– “Math is hard, but if I keep trying, I can get better at it”

  • A Growth Mindset person believes that intelligence is not fixed and is the result of effort and continued work.
  • A Growth Mindset person embraces challenges and persists when faced with setbacks. 

Now, you may ask.., so how is this even related to teaching Mathematics?

I use Carol Dweck’s theory to differentiate my approach with my students.

I do not just teach Math theories, concepts and hand out homework. I truly believe that if a student starts to develop a growth mindset, he will be able to overcome the challenges that are stopping him from achieving the results that he wants, not just in Math but also in other things. 

I would talk about motivation during my lesson and encourage students NOT TO GIVE UP when the Math questions get more and more challenging. 

I don’t believe in putting a student down when he makes mistakes and I praise and encourage students when they have shown some effort in their work. 

Challenges will not go away and Math questions will only get tougher. 

Imparting Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset concept to students helps me to help my students overcome these challenges so that they can in turn achieve success in Math.

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