Board of Education Holds Community Discussion of “Mindset”

Carol Dweck’s book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” has been a busy topic of discussion over the past few weeks. First published in 2006, “Mindset” argued that success derives not just from one’s abilities and talents, but whether one pursues goals with a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

In general, those with a fixed mindset believe that one’s abilities and talents are fixed and cannot be changed. As a result, every contest, competition, test or performance becomes a measuring stick against which one’s actual intelligence is evaluated. Curiously, this mindset causes one to avoid challenges, give up in the face of obstacles, and ignore feedback.

By contrast, those with a  growth mindset believe that intelligence and talent can be developed and improved through hard work and persistence. Those with a growth mindset relish challenges, are more resilient, see effort as the key to improvement, and learn from the feedback of others.

Back in October, the Wheatley Faculty spent a morning discussing these ideas. Last month, my SWS class on Mindset wrapped up a terrific module. Last week, Mr. Bloomgarden held a Mindset book talk for his parents, and this past Monday, I held a Mindset book talk for Wheatley parents.

Earlier this evening, the Board of Education used its monthly work session to discuss the important ideas in this book. With the assistance of two of my SWS students, Brianna Clarfield and Lindsay Mosca, we shared our understanding of the primary ideas of the book and how we can used these powerful ideas to help better motivate our students, our families and our professionals.


Discussion Questions

  1. What did your parents or teachers do or say to promote a fixed or growth mindset for you?
  2. As parents, what do we do or say that might communicate a fixed or growth mindset to our children?
  3. What is the biggest failure or setback you have faced in your life? How did you recover from this? What does that say about your mindset?
  4. What messages do you receive from our district regarding the mindset of our schools?
  5. What can we do as a district to move toward a culture of a growth mindset for students, teachers, administrators, and parents?

Video Wrap-Up

Homework Reading:

Fostering a Growth Mindset at Home: Shifting to a Growth Mindset Feb16

Growth Mindset YouTube Playlist: Mindset YouTube Playlist

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