Theory Related To A Growth Mindset Essay

Questions:

1.Describe the Assumptions you hold about your ‘Intelligence’ and how they May or May not have Changed Over time.
2.Use Theory related to a ‘Growth Mindset’ in combination with aspects of your Personal Experience to Illustrate the Impact of the above assumptions on your Studies to date.
3.Use Theory related to a ‘Growth Mindset in Combination with aspects of your personal experience to Speculate on the practical and Theoretical Implications of your Current Assumptions for your study over the coming Semester.
4.Use Theory related to a 'Growth Mindset' in Combination with aspects of your Personal Experience to Speculate on the practical and Theoretical Implications of your Current Assumptions for your current or Future Employment.

Answers:

1.In my life as a student, I have come to realize my assumption about my intelligence is based on my performance in class. If someone asked me if I am intelligent my answer would always come with a stammer because I find it hard to confidently say am an intelligent person. For instance, there are those subjects or field of study I am good in and I can confidently say am very intelligent in that field of study. However there those subjects which i am weak at.

When again asked if am intelligent in relation to this fields that I am poor in, I find it very difficult to give a positive answer. Moreover, when I fail in a particular field of study, it makes me fill ‘stupid’. In fact it makes me feel like a looser since others are doing pretty well in this subjects yet I am scoring dismally in the same. As a result I have always believed in one thing, there is nothing much I can do to improve my performance in a subject I am poor in. This is because I believe that there is a limit of intelligence I have in any particular subject and I cannot surpass that limit

2.Carol Dweck’s video titled; “The power of believing you can improve”, has also opened my mind on the assumptions I had towards my intelligence. I know I am not good in some particular subjects and I still believe there is nothing much I can do to change that fixed state of mind. As a result I have been avoiding particular subjects that i am poor in. I am convinced that no matter how much effort I put in studying this subjects I will always fail in them.

This ‘fixed mindset’ has really affected my performance to date since I feel like I am a failure in some subjects and I shy away from them. In addition seeing my classmates performing well in the same subjects that I am poor in makes me feel less intelligence and a ‘looser’ for that matter.

According to Dweck, student’s belief about the nature of their ability or intelligence will always determine how they will approach challenging subjects or fields of study. To her students who observe their intelligence as a fixed state of mind will tend to shy away from subjects that pose great challenges to them. On the other hand, students who believe that their ability can increase through effort and constant practice always conquer academic challenges in their field of study


Dweck’s research has also opened my mind on the assumptions I had towards praise from my teachers and parents towards my academic performance. Praise and reward is a good motivator towards increasing a child’s performance. However, studying Dweck’s video on intelligence reveals a sharp contrast on the impact of praise on student’s intellectual growth. I have learnt praising students for their performance rather than their effort may lead to students accepting a fixed mindset in regards to intelligence. The message being sent by this adults is that success or failure is dependent on a greater power that is beyond their control thus these students end up accepting that their ‘dumb’ or ‘smart’ depending on their performance and nothing can be done to change the status quo.

For example, if a teacher comments ‘well done” or “smart boy” to a student, the student will end up interpreting that success is related to being smart while being dumb is equally related to performing poorly. As a result of these students who perform well develop high self-esteem but this soon disappears when they are faced with academic challenges in other subjects. However students who are praised for the effort their input in their studies are more likely to develop and a ‘growth mindset’ and they develop grit when faced with academic challenges

Dweck’s study has really set the ball rolling for me in the coming semester since now am more than convinced that my mental ability is not a fixed quantity and it is something I have control over. I can be able to improve on those subjects that am not doing well in. since now I know that through constant practice and perseverance I can be able to change the narrative to a successful one. I have also realized that what matters is the effort that one puts in something that will either translate to a failure or success. Also, even when I fail, it doesn’t mean I am ‘dumb’ but it should offer me an opportunity to learn and explore more on that particular subject (Duckworth, A, L.2009).


3.My assumptions towards intelligence have impacted in my studies to a certain level. Looking at the theory of ‘growth mindset’ students who hold onto the ‘entity’ theory of intelligence subscribe to the school of thought that intelligence is something that you have no control over and thus you can do very little to change it. There was a time I used to believe in this line of thought, and it still affects my thinking to this day. At times I tend to think that my intelligence is a fixed quantity.

Moreover, this has pushed me to place such a high value on success that makes me always worried and scared of failure. As a result, I find myself studying so hard that I may not fail since to me, I perceive failure as evidence of being ‘dumb’ or possessing low intelligence. This belief has further pushed me to select and study only those subjects that I find myself good in. In this light, I always tend to shy away from causes that have mathematics in them since I always score dismally in this subject.

However studying and listening to Dweck’s video on intelligence has struck something new in my line of thinking. I have realized that intelligence is not a fixed state of mind but it is something that can be worked on. In contrast to my line of thinking, I have realized that students who view intelligence as a malleable quantity are never threatened by failure since they believe that their mind ability can be increased through effort and grit. Moreover, instead of this students shying away from subjects that they score dismally in, they have made it their mission master this subjects and set academic challenges that will help improve their intellectual ability.

However, I belonged to this group of students who viewed intelligence as a fixed quantity. I believed, intelligence cannot be improved and it is a limited entity. In most cases I concentrated more about by abilities and wasted a lot of time trying to prove it rather than improving it. As a result, this has lead to the onset of negative thoughts in my mind such as ‘I am a dumb’ or ‘I am a total failure’ and tendency of giving up so quickly on life’s challenges. I have realised students possessing growth mindset will always perceive life’s challenges not as setbacks but an opportunity to learn and improve while those with fixed mindset will always count themselves as failures when they face life’s challenges

4.Use theory related to a ‘growth mindset’ in combination with aspects of your personal experience to speculate on the practical and theoretical implications of your current assumptions for your current or future employment. Length 500 words

A lot can be learned from Duckworths’ video on intelligence with specific reference to the theory of ‘growth mindset’ and ‘grit.' One of the takeaway points for me is that intelligence is not a fixed state of mind. Everyone can grow their mental ability, and this will largely depend on one’s ability to persevere. Dweck notes that students who employ a growth mindset about their intellectual ability tend to focus more on learning and mastering challenging academic materials


The current job market just like education doesn’t offer a rosy reception to those leaving school. The challenges are weightier than those experiences in the academic world. As a result, those students coming into employment with a ‘growth mindset’ are more like to survive the fast few years of their employment since they have what it takes to face challenges that they may encounter in their line of work. Possessing grit and the ability to learn from failure has always been the key to success, and these students possess these elements of success. This cannot be said of those with a fixed mindset since they shy away from failure and due to the state of mentality they operate with, chances are very high they will quit the job as soon as they face a major obstacle in their line of duty

Dweck’s study has been a point of revelation for me since have just realized that how I view intelligence will always affect how I respond to challenges not only at my study level but even in how I see life out there. This means that I will have to adopt a growth mindset if am to be successful in my career later in life and at my place of work it will also come in handy. The challenges I will face in my area of employment will always be an opportunity to learn for me. This means that I won’t concentrate much on my failures but how to learn from the challenges that face me in my area of work. I chose to adopt the ‘growth mindset’ even as I hope to secure an employment during my semester break


It has become evident to me that what I belief about my academic capability will always have a direct influence in my perseverance towards achieving academic success. This means that if I focus my effort on learning and practicing new skills then i can improve my class performance and perform well in school. Having this mindset will increase my chances of achieving a higher level of academic performance and also be successful in life since I now believe that I can overcome challenges and obstacles that life presents. I have also learnt grit is virtue that is worked on and doesn’t come in a day. Through constant practice and pushing against challenges and odds will eventually translate into success and with this i know i can navigate through life’s challenges without the fear of failure. Therefore Intelligence is something that can be nurtured and that’s a take away point for me even as i reflect on Duckworth’s literature on grit theory.

References

Deiner, C. I., & Dweck, C.S. 1978. An analysis of learned helplessness: Continuous changes in performance, strategy and achievement cognitions following failure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36, 451-462.

Deiner, C. I, & Dweck, C.S. 1980. An analysis of learned helplessness: (II) The processing of success. journal of personality and social psychology, 39, 940-952.

Duckworth, A, L.2009.True Grit: Can Perseverance be Taught? 2009, YouTube video, TEDx Talk. Presented by Angela Lee Duckworth.

Dweck, C.2014. The power of believing that you can improve, YouTube video, TED Talk Norrkoping, Sweden.

Retrieved:

Dweck, C. S. 2002. Beliefs that make smart people dumb. In R.J. Sternberg (Ed.). Why smart people can be so stupid. New Haven : Yale University Press.

Dweck, C.S. 2002. Messages that motivate: How praise molds students' beliefs, motivation, and performance (in surprising ways). In J. Aronson (Ed.), Improvingacademic achievement. New York: Academic Press.

Dweck, C. S. 1999a. Caution-praise can be dangerous. American Educator, 23(1), 4-9.

Dweck, C. S. 1999b. Self-theories: their role in motivation, personality and development. Philadelphia: The Psychology Press

Dweck, C. S., & Bempechat, J. 1983. Children's theories of intelligence. In S. Paris, G. Olsen, & H. Stevenson (Eds.), Learning and motivation in the classroom(pp. 239-256). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Dweck, C. S., & Reppucci, N. D. 1973. Learned helplessness and reinforcement responsibility in children. Journal of personality and social psychology,25, 109-116.

Mueller, C.M., & Dweck, C.S. 1998. Intelligence praise can undermine motivation and performance. Journal of personality and social psychology, 75, 33-52.

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