Hey SAIT students,
Welcome to the eighth Learning From Home 101 blog post (the previous one was Growing From Feedback). In this post, we’ve written about growth mindset – what it is, why it’s important, how you can have one, and more!
To be completely honest with you, a growth mindset isn’t the easiest thing to define. It’s more of a culture or philosophy; a way of thinking about learning and managing it. Having a growth mindset means believing your abilities, skills, and qualities can be developed and improved on with consistent hard work (a.k.a. practice). Additionally, it’s believing that brains and talents are just mere starting points to grow from, and not the be-all and end-all of all situations.
Embodying a growth mindset creates a love of learning, as well as a resilience that is essential for success. Now whilst we said earlier that a growth mindset isn’t easily defined, there are numerous studies that support the idea that resilient people and those who genuinely enjoy learning, are far more likely to be successful at something. Additionally, the alternative to growth mindset — the fixed mindset — seems so negative and almost ‘anti-educational’ that growth mindset should be a default.
Incase you’re not sure what a fixed or growth mindset looks like, here are a few examples of them side-by-side:
Fake it till you make it! Believe it or not, forcing and/or imitating things like confidence and a certain way of thinking leads to those things becoming a natural habit over time. If you’ve ever tried something like a gratitude journal, then you’ll know this practice of faking it until you make it can be true! Taking the gratitude journal for example… the first time that you try to list 3 things that you’re grateful for, you struggle to list anything out of the obvious such as family, friends, and a beloved pet. However, journaling what you’re grateful for over time, it becomes easier and easier, until you catch yourself being grateful for strange little things like how you called the bank today and were only on hold for 2 minutes instead of the usual 30 minutes.
We know an absolutely fantastic TED talk by Carol Dweck on the topic. Dweck researches growth mindset, and in her talk, “she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet?” You can listen to and/or watch it here!