The Mystery of Mind

6 June 2016

The human mind has many mysteries to be solved, and it always being a challenge to study and to understand its working process. In Carol Dweck’s article “Brainology: Transforming Students Motivation to Learn”, the author shows us that our brain change constantly; we have two distinct classifications of mindset; growth mindset and fixed mindset. The challenging point is to understand how these mindsets work, and how it affects our life. Individuals with fixed mindset do not believe in their potential; they believe that each person has just a certain amount of intelligence which is unchangeable.

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On the other hand, the person with the growth mindset believes that everyone can improve their abilities through effort and education. The process of motivation works differently with different mindsets. Students with fixed mindset try to avoid the feeling of being unsuccessful by keeping them away from challenges and mistakes; therefore, they simply choose to stay in their comfort zone. When the students with fixed mindset faces setbacks they struggle; they do not think about to work harder to get better, and they easily feel demoralized. On the other hand, students with growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed, so they do not feel afraid of effort and do not want to quit after a setback. Growth mindsets see setbacks as a challenge, an opportunity to study harder and learn more. In Dweck research with 7th grade students, she clarifies that students with fixed mindset care so much about how smart they will appear; they have the need to pose as intelligent than actually learning.

In contrast, students with growth mindset are more interested in learning not just looking smart, and they believe that everyone can improve their abilities. Dweck emphasizes that two aspects can affect the development of children mindsets; those are praise and self-esteem. Through Dweck’s research, she shows us that in 1990s parents and schools believe that the most important matter for children to have was self-esteem, and it was necessary to praise kids for their intelligence for them to feel confident. However, Dweck makes the point that praising children for their inborn intelligence and talent, might tell them that intelligence cannot be developed. As a result, this can promotes a fixed mindset and its vulnerabilities.

According to Dweck, “the children praised for their intelligence lost their confidence as soon as the problems got more difficult” (Dweck 3). What Dweck emphasizes here is that the students should be praised for their effort, this way they can maintain their confidence and overcome their obstacles. Dweck’s research has immense significance in the field of education, because it proves that individuals can grow their intelligence through effort. Analyzing myself, I am a growth mindset in most of the cases. I am not super smart, but I am hard worker, and I am always open to learning even if it takes me more time.

Sometimes, I can also be a fixed mindset; for example, when I am doing something that I do not believe that it is useful in my life, I procrastinate. In my opinion, being a growth mindset can be a real challenge, because you have to be a resilient person, and it might be not so easy. However, Dweck shows us through her research, that the students praised for their effort are more motivated to study and more successful than the others praised for their intelligence, with that, it make me feel that I am in the right way to reach my objectives. The human mind fascinates me.

I have learned lots of interesting points through this article, for example, how important is to challenge ourselves and do not be afraid to make mistakes. Regardless, if you consider yourself smart or not, the most important thing is to connect hard work to self-esteem, and try to overcome your obstacles. When we talk about kids and how to teach them and what is the right way to praise them, Dweck in my opinion, presented an important point about praise them for their effort. This article will be very helpful for me in the future, as I raise my own children and teach them how important is to challenge themselves.

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