Do You Have a Growth Mindset or a Fixed Mindset?

Can it grow?
Since I have returned to work, I have felt challenged. Not so much by a change of routine or by the resumption of my teacher-librarian role but by contact with new ideas and with "new language" that has emerged since I originally retired in June 2011.

As every educator knows, professional development is a critical part of teaching. While the general public may be vaguely irritated by "too many holidays" and having to arrange alternate childcare, profession development days are when teachers are exposed to new ideas about learning. During my retirement, I have missed about 50 Pro-D days. I do not have the current vocabulary or understanding of the newest developments in education.

Last week, I attended my first professional book club meeting during lunch hour (45 minutes). We are discussing the book
our study book

The book is based on the research by Carol Dweck, who believes that our "mindset" determines our achievement. A "growth mindset" accepts challenge to undertake tasks at which we may not be successful at the beginning. A "fixed" mindset only undertakes those tasks at which we will excel.

It was an interesting discussion as I realized that I have a "fixed" mindset. I know where my strengths are and I know how to present them and to use them well. In the school room of the 1960's, I was a "good" student in academic subjects...not very "good" in PE, Art or Music. My adult years have been spent in confirming my areas of strength. In 1970, I wrote scholarship exams in French and English Literature. In my retirement, I study French and Spanish and belong to book clubs. Not much growth in 48 years!

In my younger years, this is how the school system worked. I understood it and it served me well.
But now, I am learning a new way which might even enrich my retirement.

If you are interested, you can watch this Google talk by Carol Dweck.


  1. Good things to think about - I am always interested in learning and growing. We were pleased when we saw our Grandson's first report card and one of the areas assessed was creative thinking - that is a great subject and teaches students to understand the why of what they are learning and the "how" of reaching their conclusion.

    1. We do need to develop an inquiring mind and to encourage creativity.

  2. Me again - forgot to answer your question on my blog - we live in Bellingham but our drives often find us meandering down to Bow and Edison - such a great area for bird sitings - and the quiet roads in that area are much better for meandering that those in the Bellingham area.

    1. My mum and I visit LaConner a couple times each year. We like to take the road off Hwy 20 and meander back on the Chuckanut to Fairhaven. The fields are interesting at any time of year.

  3. This new BC education curriculum is also full of new concepts and language. Lots of learning to do. Fixed or growth mindset is certainly on the radar these days. I haven't read the book, but Carol Dweck's ideas are floating everywhere in the school.

    For me, I like to think I have a growth mindset, but I'm also cautious about what new things I get involved in. The latest is getting my commercial driver's licence so I can accompany our grade 12 students to Mexico during spring break to build 3 houses for those without.

    1. Are you going to drive the truck in Mexico, Lorrie? Did you drive in South America?
      Where are you building houses? That sounds exciting. Schools really are full of new ideas, vocabulary and technology.


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