The 3 Components of Growth Mindset

Course excerpt from Motivating Children to Learn

Growth mindset teaches us to focus on the characteristics of an individual, rather than their IQ score. Dweck (2006) recommends fostering a growth mindset in children and educators instead of the more common fixed mindset. Children and adults with a fixed mindset believe that it does not matter how much work or effort one puts in because intelligence and talents are static traits. Therefore, an individual has no control over whether or not s/he succeeds. A growth mindset is the belief that you can effect change within yourself by learning anything with dedication, effort, and persistence. A growth mindset sows the seeds for true success and a love of learning.

Growth Mindset

In this section we will discuss the basics of the Growth Mindset Philosophy and its three major components. In each of these three parts we will discuss ways in which we can convey a growth mindset to our clients, and incorporate these ideas into our therapy activities, in a school, home-based, or private practice setting.

The three components of growth mindset that we will discuss here are:

  1. Neuroplasticity: The idea that the brain is like a muscle, which can get stronger/smarter with use.
  2. Praise that is used appropriately focuses on the effort that the child brings to a task, as opposed to a focus on their innate intelligence.
  3. Mistakes as opportunities for learning. Reinforce the idea that our mistakes and failures are some of our best opportunities for learning

Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at University of Pennsylvania, has studied the character trait of Grit, which she describes as the perseverance and passion for long-term goals. This involves working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failures, adversity, and plateaus in progress (Duckworth et al., 2007). It is one of a set of non-cognitive skills (such as curiosity, resilience, and self-control) that impacts students’ long-term success, just as much as academic skills or IQ. Growth mindset is the idea that people can affect change within themselves, and that they can learn almost anything with dedication, effort, and persistence.

Dweck (2006) explains that teaching children that the brain is a muscle, which can get stronger with effort and hard work, may elicit a positive response. By praising effort and persistence, children learn that mistakes are opportunities to learn, and that challenges and obstacles should be embraced.

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Motivating Children to LearnMotivating Children to Learn is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides strategies and activities to help children overcome their academic and social challenges.

This course describes the various challenges that can sidetrack children in their developmental and educational processes, leaving them with a sense of discouragement and helplessness. Such challenges include learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, behavior disorders, and executive functioning deficits. Left unchecked, these difficulties can cause children to develop the idea that they are not capable of success in school, precipitating a downward spiral of poor self-esteem and – eventually – school failure.

The good news is that much better outcomes can result when parents, teachers, and therapists engage children in strategies and activities that help them overcome their discouragement and develop their innate intelligence and strengths, resulting in a growth mindset and a love of learning. Detailed in this course are multiple strategies and techniques that can lead to these positive outcomes.

Course #40-44 | 2018 | 77 pages | 25 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

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