Book Review – Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

As a faculty, we were asked to read Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: A New Psychology of Success, over the summer. The ideas from the book and our reflections about them will be the focus of ongoing PD in our school this year.

I enjoyed the book a great deal. I found it interesting the way that the author applied her understanding to different fields – from sports to business, from relationships to learning. The key takeaway for me was the sense that if we are to be lifelong learners, we have to give ourselves permission to learn, to fail, to grow. We have be talking a lot about this as teachers and sharing it with our students and their parents. Personally, I have reflected on my own approaches to things and to ideas.

9342c09d0aee50a6685dffb639d5d230-image-300x300The book was not without its “Yeah, but…” moments for me as I read. For instance, I have some questions about how to help students (and myself!) understand mindsets, about how much a teacher can really delve into the source of those mindsets, about finding the time and place and skills one needs to have respectful conversations about them. The way we think about ourselves, our learning, and our relationships is a complex knot of strings spun from home, culture, experience, and the wiring in our brains. While we do want to pull on those strings with courage, we also want to pull with care! I am looking forward to working through some of this with my colleagues at school and with you online!

7 thoughts on “Book Review – Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

  1. Dan you are a blogging machine! I loved this book and the work is so important – it’s how I spent the first few classes this year, and continue to help students discover and foster their mindset. I have them read French articles on mindset and we spend a lot of time reflecting on our learning and making changes – lots of inquiry and student driven learning. Conferencing is one way in which I get at the conversations and it’s already going much better than last year when I spent less time sharing the “why” behind pedagogy and the way we learn in French.

    I really enjoy your blogs and look forward to reading more as you more deeply explore your ideas and action plan!

    1. Thanks so much, Derek!

      I appreciate your ideas on this and think that conferencing is a great way to go. Like so many things with teaching, this is a process for me and, perhaps, for all of us. One of the things I am working on is trying to couple growth thinking with meaningful feedback. I think conferencing is a great way to do this, but I struggle with scheduling it consistently. “I am not there yet!”

      Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday!

  2. Hi @dbailey, Garth pointed me in the direction of your blog and turns out I had already read it. I was happy to read it again 🙂

    I too wonder how we can help our students (and ourselves!) understand mindsets and how we delve into the source of our mindsets. Admittedly, in the past, I have found myself frustrated with people that have fixed mindsets. I see it commonly to in female athletes saying things like, “I can’t do that… I’ll never be as fast as her” etc., and it has always bothered me but I have never really stopped to think about what causes these mindsets in the first place. I am now curious about this and how we can work to empower students to begin to understand and grow their mindsets. I am hoping I can jump in on a conversation about with you and @ddoucet.

    You have also inspired me to add a new book to my reading list!

    1. Hi Nichola! Thanks so much for your message! I will look forward to speaking with you about this and how we can help break through those fixed mindsets with the students we teach and coach. It is hard to see them putting the brakes on. Since reading the book, I am trying to have more one-on-one coaching conversations. As well, I am more frequently saying, “Bear with me gang. I am still learning this!” – generally in reference to some technology thing which they can all do in an instant!

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