Growth Mindset At The Pinnacle School

by Charles Manos, Director of Education

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Every year we like to set the tone and goals for the school year during our professional development week before classes begin. This summer, the staff read the book “Mindset” by Carol Dweck, PhD. According to Dweck, the originator behind this concept, “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort."

After studying the behavior of thousands of children, Dr. Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger.

Having a growth mindset (the belief that you are in control of your own ability, and can learn and improve) is the key to success. Yes, hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but not as important as having that underlying belief that you are in control of your own destiny. Individuals with a growth mindset see problems of "not knowing" as opportunities to learn something new, different, delve deeper, or see that a problem may require a more creative solution.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.

Dr. Dweck’s book deepened our understanding of the research that validates our mission and our approach to one another as colleagues and leaders. It gave us new language to encourage this on a daily basis and keep it at the forefront of our work together.