In her childhood speech, Carol Dweck, an educationalist, explains a common mindset among kids. According to her research and experience with educating children, many kids have what she terms a "fixed mindset" when it comes to intellect. They believe that intellect is limited, and that each person has a certain amount from birth. For Dweck, such a mindset is harmful for students and children in general.
The pernicious nature of the fixed mindset is that it often prevents kids from trying new things for fear of looking dumb to others. On the other hand, children with "growth mindsets," or the belief that intelligence can be augmented with hard work and study, tend to be more willing to try new things.
This dichotomy of fixed versus growth isn't just pure theory. In a study Dweck conducted of kids entering 7th grade, she found that the students who held a growth mindset had better grades over time, while those with fixed mindsets stagnated or dropped. As such, it is the job of educators and families to impart on children the importance of hard work and of failure on the road to success.
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