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Fixed and Growth Mindsets
This summer, our staff read Carol Dweck’s Mindset. Her work is an inspiration to each of us.

Dweck proposes two mindsets: fixed and growth. You can infer the meaning of each. A fixed mindset is a mind made up. It seeks validation of its thinking by external praise and assurances of inevitable failures. Many of us experience a fixed mindset when we try things that are difficult and have been difficult for a long time. For example, if you can never quite make that shot in basketball or get that soufflé to rise, you could begin to think those things will never happen for you and decide to stop or settle for less.

A growth mindset is one that considers possibilities and is not easily discouraged. It recognizes effort over ability. We possess each of these mindsets in varying circumstances. In our work with children, we strive to encourage children to develop a growth mindset, to practice and learn from their practice. Most things are not learned in one sitting; they require multiple attempts.

Dr. Montessori designed materials to be self-correcting. They allow children to try and try again and learn from their errors. She knew that children want to learn. They want to ponder what went well and what may have gone wrong. They practice and are proud when they figure it out.

Where do you have a fixed mindset? How do you embrace a mindset that promotes growth and learning?