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Posts: 122
Reply with quote  #1 

Sorry for the delay everyone...check out question #1 below!

Do we as a society believe in a growth mindset? Why or why not?

Maggie Susong
ATPE Member Engagement Coordinator

Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #2 

Do we as a society believe in a growth mindset? Why or why not?

No, I don’t think that our society believes in a growth mindset yet. Carol Dweck’s first mindset research is a few decades old but the results from our traditional Intelligence Quotient test are still used to quantify the apparent innate abilities of children and adults.

Six years ago I was introduced to Carol Dweck’s mindset research in a teacher training program at my university. I was fortunate to have had an opportunity later to attend a lecture given by one of her colleagues at Stanford. In my current teaching position, I receive support from my administrators, some other teachers and my university in engaging students with a growth mindset in lesson-planning. But at the same time many people are not familiar with the implications of her work, that a brain can grow throughout a lifetime and that that growth can be facilitated.

Certainly, the growth mindset is the basis for brain exercises to slow Alzheimer’s and dementia, though with limitations. And as parents and teachers we instinctively know that children thrive given the stimulation of challenging work along with work that reinforces what they already know. But I don’t think we have institutionalized the belief that the brain development occurs everyday and can be designed into classrooms.


Tamra M.
M/S H/S Math Teacher

Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #3 
Do we as a society believe in a growth mindset?  Why or why not?

As a society we do not have a growth mindset.  I was raised with the belief that everyone excels in something, whether your best subject was math or writing, etc, but not all subjects.  I belong to that group of teachers that was taught the "bell curve mentality" and I have know teachers that in their own minds believed that their students could only do so much.  I remember working with a teacher who would frequently say about her students, " Not everyone can be a doctor. We need janitors, mechanics, etc.  What's wrong with that?"  I believe it is important for students to know that we believe in them and that they will succeed in their academic goals.


Posts: 43
Reply with quote  #4 
No we as a society do not believe in a growth mindset. I believe it is because we as a society are not educated in growth mind sets. To me it is specific training about a thought process.
S. Braddock

Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #5 
We do not believe in this or we would not have to be discussing this. If we thought and taught in this way from the beginning there is no way of knowing just how much better off, education and individual capabilities to exceed, would be.

Each in our own way have shown that we can do it. We have accomplished this when either our jobs or an assignment was given out in college that challenged us. To the education system as a whole we accept what is either written in a students file or we have listened to too many complaints from fellow teachers concerning students.

Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #6 
I am afraid I have to agree with the previous comments, BUT I also think that as we are facing changes in our society, technology for instances, we are slowly changing our way of thinking about growth mindset.  When I meet with parents they want something better for their kids than they had.  They want their kids challenged and ready for society.  As a second grade teacher I plant the seed for my kids in making a game of some challenging concepts, by saying "I'm not supposed to be telling you about this yet".  As the book said, given time, we all can learn to be good at something we want to be good at.  So maybe there is still hope for me to cook!

Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #7 
As a society, we do not believe in a growth mindset. This is passed down from generation to generation with some exceptions. Many students are informed to excel at what they are only "good" at. But, they are not pushed to really see how much they could learn and grow beyond their personal potential beliefs because "just getting by" is just that; they get by (passed on, taken care of monetarily, etc...). 

In society in general, standards have been lowered to such an extent to where it has become learned that someone will take care of them when they choose not to be a productive part of society. This is where the lack of respect for one's own potential comes into play. This mindset early in life as well as being modeled within their family's lives sets up students for failure. Students must learn to take pride in work produced, even when it is not perfect, but given praise for effort and motivation because one day that light will go off and they will get it. In our world today, it is considered okay to be mediocre with minimal effort because they are rewarded regardless. Therefore, we do not have a growth mindset. 

Sherry Ayres

Posts: 83
Reply with quote  #8 
No, as a society we do not believe in a growth mindset.  If we did, I don't think there would be so many "that's the way it's always been" policies in place, and there would be much less resistance to changing things from teachers or parents.  I often hear parents and community members wishing better things for their children than they had, but when it comes down to making improvements and changes, heels are dug in and we are met with a variety of "we've never done that before" or "that's not how it was when I was in school". 

Posts: 49
Reply with quote  #9 
Unfortunately, as a society, I do not believe that we subscribe to the growth mindset. In my university days, I was taught that my class would generally fall on the bell curve. I think for so long we have expected students and ourselves, for that matter, to have limitations to our abilities based upon our innate capabilities. I tend to be a moderate. In that way, I do still believe that genetics play a role in our abilities, but I certainly believe that we can provide experiences to help each student continually grow. It is so encouraging to learn that our intelligence has the ability to grow and be fluid. This idea is so important to understand as we use intelligence tests to plan for students!

Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #10 

Today’s society finds itself more within a Fixed Mindset rather than a Growth Mindset. “Often, an advanced learner with a fixed mindset will start avoiding situations where she may fail; she can become ‘risk adverse’” (pg 3). I find this is often the case, even with the average learner. No one wants to try something they may fail at. It makes them feel weak.

When I first learned of Growth Mindset earlier this year during my New Teacher Training, I couldn’t believe how much I identified myself as a person with a Fixed Mindset. I was the student that had to validate myself by checking the grades of those around me to make sure I was smart. And I convinced myself that I would never be any good at math because I just didn’t understand it and never would. Though, with practice and effort, I’m sure I could have done so much better.

One thing I really took away from the first couple of chapters of this book was that “Potential can never be ‘full’” (pg 8). How often have we heard or told parents that we want students to reach their full potential? No matter the grade level, it’s nearly impossible. By wanting students to reach their full potential, you’re ultimately setting them up for failure which cements the Fixed Mindset. Students feel they can only be as good as the next test.

Many people are discouraged when it takes them longer than others to learn a new skill, as mentioned on pages 8 and 9. “Our society has become one that values pace. The faster, the better” (pg 9). This translates into our students and our learning. When this discouragement blooms because of pace, then no one will want to take risks.

As time goes on, maybe our society will slowly turn into a Growth Mindset. But for now, we’re a society of Fixed Mindsets, trying to get ahead as fast as we can and caving in to failure once we hit a speed bump.



Posts: 98
Reply with quote  #11 
No, we as a society do not have a growth mindset.  I agree with a previous poster who said standards have been lowered so that some people believe someone will take care of them if they aren't productive.  Too many people nowadays don't see the value of work.  Our society is suffering because of it.  Many people are capable of so much more.

Posts: 32
Reply with quote  #12 
American society does not currently have a growth mindset as an integral part of our education system.  There are some private schools and charter schools that specialize in encouraging students at all levels to challenge themselves by constant growth-oriented lessons that are inclusive to all students.  In order to teach with a "growth mindset" I believe we will need smaller class sizes to enable teachers to conduct lessons that challenge and encourage development in all their students.  Our culture pays more attention, and dollars, to the development of athletic ability than to academia.  The very idea that our society cannot remain great and develop to a higher level until this "sports" oriented philosophy changes, must become the norm.  

It stands to reason that our society's greatest asset is the next generation.  How many Einsteins and Beethovens have we discouraged by applying standardized testing as the rule of thumb in categorizing these children as unable to fit within the "gifted and talented" group?

Rita Wilcox

Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #13 
Do we as a society believe in a growth mindset? Why or why not?

I tell my students and son that they can do and be anything they want to as long as they put forth the effort, drive, dedication, and passion for it. With that being said, I would also have to agree with the previous posters. As a society, we tend to stay with what we know or have always done. Spreading from what we have always done or going outside of the norm box/our comfort level has been slow going.
I have also seen where students are afraid to fail (even not sure how the parents will take it). Some wish to just have the answer given to them because it may be too hard. I like to tell my son there may be more than one way to accomplish his goal.


Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #14 
Do we as a society believe in a growth mindset? Why or why not?

No I do not believe that society has a growth mindset. We have grown up living with limitations. Limitations we place on ourselves or placed by others around us. I used to think I am not smart enough to do that job. I don't have the ability or skills to complete that task. We then project those ideas onto our students without meaning to. I think at times we are quick to judge or write people off as incapable. I have caught myself doing this to the adults I was training several years ago.

This book has taught me where I have limited my students on their learning journeys and has changed how I treat others in my care. I plan to change my way of thinking so that my students can have a better attitude about themselves. With effort and perseverance, you can accomplish anything you want.

Laura Niehues

Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #15 
It's my opinion that society has a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset. Often times people just want to believe that they are the way they are and can become nothing more than that because they are a product of their environment. Growth mindset is the belief that you can become a much smarter being if you have the desire and willingness to work at it. The negative seems to be viewed and discussed more so than discussing ways to overcome those negative situations. Instead of embracing & learning from any struggle some people in society would rather point the finger and assign blame.
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