Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets

This article was basically a study of a variety of students to test what kind of mindsets (fixed or growth) enhances students’ motivation, and which one undermines it. Naturally, you think when you praise a child’s intelligence, it will give them confidence in their abilities and motivate them to succeed, but their research shows that this theory is wrong.

In this article, it states that the most motivated students are, in fact, not the ones who think they have natural intelligence. Shockingly, they are the ones who believe that their abilities can be developed with a lot of effort.  It stated that students in a fixed mindset think that mistakes or setbacks mean that they lack ability, which is understandable. I mean, if I was freaking out about an exam that I had prepared for, and my friend notices how I am feeling, I would be happy to hear them say, “You got this becca, don’t worry you will be fine..” Wouldn’t anybody? Then, if I got back the exam and I notice that I failed, of course I would feel like maybe this course is not for me and I should try something else. Doesn’t mean I’m not good at something else, it just means that sometimes somethings are just not for certain people. And the same thing works vice versa… The article proved that many intelligent students simply stopped working when school became more difficult for them, also, understandable. For example, if I am naturally good at math, so yeah, it comes easily to me, and I haven’t gotten anything lower than an A in my life, and suddenly things start to become more difficult and it isn’t coming naturally to me anymore, then yes… I probably will just stop working because no matter how high of a tolerance you have, frustration will always eventually get to you.

On the other side, the article states that students with a growth mindset believe that their abilities can be developed; therefore, their major goal is to learn.. So, they are basically saying that the students don’t mind so much about their grades but they want to ensure they are learning something, which I somewhat agree with, but I do not fully think that makes sense. To me, learning something is knowing the material, and if they really knew the material, then they wouldn’t be getting bad grades. It’s either you know what you are doing or you don’t… Other than that, I believe this theory makes sense, but I do not believe that what they have researched is completely factual, as I am sure there are many people that have fixed mindsets that still are extremely motivated and strive to learn in school, and vice versa.