Jared Kamrass of Cincinnati, OH is an entrepreneur and mentor. In the following article, Jared Kamrass discusses the beliefs many individuals hold about intelligence and learning.
Failure — a weighty word lamented over by many students — became the interest of Carol Dweck and her team over three decades. How come some students are quick to rebound while others are devasted by the tiniest setback? The group began their studies, looking at the behaviors of thousands of children, eventually coining the terms “growth mindset” and “fixed mindset.”
Jared Kamrass explains more on both terms below.
The Brain Is More Malleable Than Previously Acknowledged
Recent research on brain plasticity and other areas of neuroscience show scientists that the brain is more malleable than once believed — experiences change the connectivity between neurons.
Through this newfound knowledge, the term “practice makes it perfect” has some genuine legs. As individuals repeat subjects and strengthen their knowledge, neural networks form new connections, accelerate impulse transmissions, and enhance existing relationships.
Jared Kamrass says that such neuroscientific discoveries dictate that students (and everyone, for that matter) can increase neural growth through the actions they take. Asking questions, utilizing well-thought-out strategies, practicing, sleeping well, and eating healthily are all popular methods.
Discovering the Link Between Mindsets and Achievement
While such discoveries were being made, researchers like Dweck were unearthing the relationship between mindsets and achievement. And evidence concludes that if someone believes their brain can grow, they behave differently.
This epiphany sparked a menagerie of studies and interventions that proved a person’s mindset can be changed from fixed to growth, with increased achievement and motivation as a direct result.
For instance, Jared Kamrass reports that students in 7th grade who were taught about malleable intelligence and learned how the brain grows showed a substantial increase in math grades.
On top of that, researchers found that teacher practice had a profound impact on pupil mindset, with feedback from teachers either encouraging children to take on challenges for improved achievements or not.
Studies on various forms of praise concluded that telling pupils they’re smart developed a fixed mindset while praising hard work and effort formed a growth mindset. And when the latter is achieved, students are more willing to endure challenges and learn from them, increasing their abilities as a result.
Growth Mindset Teaching in The Real World
Naturally, Jared Kamrass explains that growth mindset teaching isn’t the same in the laboratory as in real-life classrooms. However, Dweck and her team saw amazing results when evaluating the method in schools.
One particularly promising implementation was at Fiske Elementary School. With a diverse student crowd of special education students and English learners, the school’s administrators implemented a growth mindset starting with the teachers.
The staff participated in a Mindset book study throughout the first year of implementation, completing the MindsetMaker™ professional development (online) during the second year.
Jared Kamrass reports that even though math state test scores stayed the same, Fiske Elementary experienced stunning growth, which the higher-ups attributed to a growth mindset and reinvigorated teacher practices.
Injecting the Growth Mindset into Classrooms
Growth mindsets are the key to unlocking students’ potential and eradicating fixed mindsets. But the brain takes a while to behave differently, so it must be fostered as an ongoing process, starting with identification.
Experts state that educators should start by identifying where they have fixed mindset tendencies first. That way, they can work toward a growth mindset before imparting such knowledge to their classes.
After all, the minds of teachers influence the way they respond to students, which impacts students’ outcomes.
Typically, fixed mindsets foster comfort-oriented feedback, like lowering expectations for students with currently low math abilities. While it can be seen as beneficial, it significantly decreases students’ motivation and achievement according to Jared Kamrass.
The growth mindset focuses on strategy-oriented feedback for higher performance, grades, motivation, and achievements. Incorporating this type of feedback into classrooms could be the key to unlocking all pupils’ potential.
To get the most out of growth mindsets and establish proper techniques, educators can take the Mindsetmaker™ professional development course to elevate their approaches.
Growth Mindsets Are The Future of Education
Jared Kamrass says that stagnant thinking isn’t the way forward in the fast-paced modern world. Thus, teachers who allow students to adopt growth mindsets will have a much better chance of succeeding professionally and personally.