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Fixed Mindset


A fixed mindset is understood as being closed off and unwilling to learn or grow.They are often described as having fixed traits and described as "finished products" (Woolfolk).People with fixed mindsets normally don't accept failure, they see it as they are unable or unwilling to do something so they will often give up.

Growth mindset is explained as the love and willingness to learn. People with a growth mindset are often considered selfless and have a passion from within (intrinsic). They want to continue to grow and are excited about gaining knowledge. Attribution of growth mindset: They attribute growth to working really hard and attribute failure to their lack of working hard. See this video to the left for a better understanding

Growth Mindset



Attribution of fixed mindset: They attribute failure to not being smart enough or capable and they attribute success to outsides sources instead of taking responsiblity.

Two Way Approach: (SCROll for more)Teachers have to rely on extrinsic motivation to help keep their students interested. You are sometimes able to connect with a student's interest or subject in which they are willing to learn about. (growth mindset). But there will be subjects that you will need extra incentive or something else to motivate them to want to do it. Woolfolk explains how you have to encourage your students to want to do things that they aren't already intrinsicly motivated to do. The example used, is that fractions are not a fun subject, they are not something a student will normally want to study. The teacher will need to come up wth something to motivate the students to want to learn fractions. Ex: Bring stickers for whoever finishes their fraction homework.

Intrinsic Motivation: is "the natural tendency to seek out and conquer challenges as we pursue them" (Woolfolk). These are types of activities that a student will not need incentives or punishments for because, the activity itsself is satisfying on its own.

CitationsBook Citations: Woolfolk, A. H. (2016). Educational Psychology (13th ed.). United States: Pearson Education.Dweck, C. S. (2012). Mindset. London: Robinson.Image Retrieved from: Retrieved from:

Recommendations for Developing a Growth Mindset:(Scroll to see more examples)1). Choice: Choice can have a huge affect on motivation. When the students have authority to make their own decisions they are way more likely to believe that the work they did was important even if wasn't very exctiting. If it wasn't something they wanted to do, but you gave them a choice in the matter, it will motivate them and get them to believe it was a personal goal they acheived. Ex: Giving them the option to choose what they want to write a paper on or giving them a choice on how to take a quiz or test. 2) Goals: Tying into the statement above, goals can attribute alot to a students success and motivation in a subject. Mastery- Oriented students are the best to explain how to develop growth mindset. They tend to value achievement and see ability as improvable. They work on the incremental step by step goals to hopefully master a skill or subject making them not fearful of failure but rather using failure to grow, and not letting it threaten their self worth. (Woolfolk 460). To help, make sure they are setting step-by-step goals, to hopefully in the end reach a end result. You can also have them write down their goals so they are aware and can hold themselves accountable for what they have set to acheive. 3) Feedback: Feedback and emotions are two important key factors to motivating your students. Postitive and Progress feedback can make or break a student and allow them to feel like they are working towards a goal and can evaluate if they did what they were supposed to. In Mindset by Carol Dweck, she explains how to praise a student for their ability. "We praised our students for their effort, ""Wow, you got eight right. That's a really good score. You must have worked really hard."" They were not made to feel that they had some special gift, they were praised for doing what it takes to succeed" (Dweck 72).4) Allowing RISK: Allowing your students to take risk can increase their value of the subject. They will want to participate more and have very high self-esteem. This ties back into goals and "social goals" as well as . Social goals are a big part of motivating a student. Kids may want to "save face" and not raise their hand even if they know the answer, eventually deteroiating from their knowledge. This develops a fixed mindset. Make sure to allow for risk so they don't just stick to what they know but really want to learn and branch out. Ex: rewarded for answering questions in class, bonus points on their grade if they volunteer. Making particiaption more friendly and open so they will take that risk. 5) Control and Value: Like stated above, having a choice can make a big difference on whether a student wants to participate or not. Control works the same way. When a student feels pressured to perform they will seek the easiest and quickest solution. This does not contribute to hard work. If they feel pressure they could possibly shut down and feel less intrinsically motivated to do anything at all. Ex: Let them work in groups to control how they want the activity to be done. Example from Woolfolk: explain the information instead of just stating what they should do. "As a way of helping write your paper we are going to the library, students have found in the past that the library was a crucial part of writing a paper." Instead of "Don't waste your time in the library, get your work done while we are in there."


Todays Agenda: 9:00- 9:45 Discuss the two types of Mindset - Growth and Fixed9:45-10:30 Explain the comparisons between extrinsic & intrinsic motivation & mindset- How are motivation and mindset related? - Instrinsic and Extrinsic10:30-11:30 Talk about how to bring out intrinsic motivation- Techniques & Recommendations - Play a game for extrinsic motivation BREAK12:30-1:30 Developing Growth Mindset in the classroom - Chocie, goals, feedback, risk & control


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