The Theory of Growth Mindset

“Math is just not her thing.” “She’s a good student but just doesn’t test well.” “She’s not an athlete.”  When I write these statements down, they seem harsh, hurtful, and detrimental. They are. Yet, I hear these and other negative statements too frequently. We know we shouldn’t do it, but somehow, we allow words like these to escape our mouths. Unfortunately, the words make their way to our daughters’ ears and they internalize the message, making the prophecy all the more truthful.  The fact of the matter is that mathematics is difficult.  Whoever said it should be easy? Students are most proud of the work that was most difficult for them to complete. In his U.S. News and World Report article, “Fostering a Growth Mindset is Key to Teaching STEM,” David Miller claims teachers and parents should be placing value on hard work, rather than intellect, especially in difficult STEM subjects so that our students do not lose interest in challenging STEM fields including mathematics, engineering, and physics.  Embracing challenge will produce stronger graduates willing to problem solve the difficult issues of today. 



Growth Mindset & AHA

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