Carol Dweck’s concept of mindsets is one of the most powerful tools to enable us to develop independent confident life long learners. Mindsets, according to Carol Dweck’s pioneering work in the US predict resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge. Mindset is a learner’s belief about the nature of ability. Interventions related to Mindset have been rolled out widely in the USA and its effectiveness is well evidenced. Research identifies two types of intelligence belief, namely growth mindset and fixed mindset.
Individuals using a growth mindset believe that they can develop their intelligence; they embrace challenges and persist in the face of setbacks. They are learning orientated and resilient learners who recognise the importance of effort and learn from feedback.
In contrast, individuals demonstrating a fixed mindset believe that their intelligence is innate (i.e. “I was born this way/this is what I am”). They avoid challenges and give up easily. They view putting effort into things as pointless and ignore feedback. They prefer to appear ‘smart’ so will often choose learning that they can do rather than challenging themselves.