I love book reviews that make you want to jump out of your office seat, walk to the nearest bookstore, and buy the book.
That was the reaction I had to a recent review in TCRecord of a book titled Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck.
Based on the review (I still have to make that trip to the bookstore), this is definitely a book that gets at the heart of matters related to student motivation. It examines, for instance, how people often operate under two different mindsets, the fixed mindset or the growth-oriented one. The fixed mindset is set on the idea that traits such as intelligence and creativity are fixed at birth while the growth mindset sees such qualities as always in a state of improvement.
Dweck, who served as a featured guest in August for an Education Week chat, “Student Motivation: What Works, What Doesn’t,” writes about how children or adults who operate under the fixed mindset see success as confirmation of their innate intelligence or creativity and failure as proof that they are not smart or creative, according to the review. Those who are growth oriented, on the other hand, see success as confirmation of their progress or improvement and failure as a learning experience.
The conflict between these two mindsets gets at the very heart of what motivates people. I plan to read this book, in large part, because I think most of us prefer to operate under the growth mindset, but are often held back by the fixed one.
What mindset do you or most of students have? Fixed or growth?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.