Cultivating A Growth Mindset
In life we often approach a new challenge with two mindsets: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. The fixed mindset believes that your qualities are carved in stone. For example: “I’m not a math person, so it doesn’t matter what I do, I will never get better.” The other mindset is called the growth mindset. Through the growth mindset is the belief that “your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.”* Talent is not stagnant, but instead it’s ever changing with hard work and determination. For example: “I don’t understand this math problem yet, BUT through studying and hard work I will learn.”
What does this mean for students? The “passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even when it’s not going well one week, is the hallmark of the growth mindset”* and will produce results. As long as you practice, work hard, and listen to the guidance from your instructor, you will continue to improve and grow. What does this mean for parents? Work on praising your child for their effort rather than their perceived ability. Ex: Instead of saying “You did great, you’re so talented!” try saying “ You did great, you must have worked really hard!”
“The best thing we can do is to teach children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning,” – Carol Dweck
*Dweck, Carol. Mindset, The New Psychology of Success. (2003).
Amber Burgett, A.A., Piano Instructor