THIS is What a Growth Mindset Looks Like in Action.

Carol Dweck’s Mindset — which argues that success depends on our willingness to be resilient and to believe that potential isn’t determined by ability alone — has been driving my thinking for the past year.  

People with fixed mindsets, Dweck argues, are all too willing to give up when the going gets tough, convinced that they “just don’t have what it takes” to overcome intellectual challenges.

People with growth mindsets, however, see struggles and failures as opportunities to learn.  “The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it,” she writes, “even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset” (Kindle Location 184).

One of my struggles, however, was having tangible examples of just what growth mindsets looked like in action.

That all changed in our faculty meeting last week, however, when my principal shared this video describing the efforts of Malcom Mitchell, a star football player at the University of Georgia, to improve his reading ability:



Related Radical Reads:

Being Responsible for Teaching the Bored

How Gritty are Today’s Learners?

Talent is Cheaper than Table Salt

6 thoughts on “THIS is What a Growth Mindset Looks Like in Action.

    1. Bill Ferriter Post author

      That’s my favorite part of the video too, Philip! Anytime a top of the line athlete brags about learning to read, it’s cool. More importantly, anytime that a top of the line athlete recognizes that talent and effort are different, it’s cool too.

      Hope you are well!

  1. Elisa Waingort

    Thanks for sharing this, Bill. I’m thinking I might show it to my 7th graders. I have several boys in that class who are reluctant readers for a variety of reasons, and who don’t think it’s that important. This might spur a good conversation.

    1. Bill Ferriter Post author

      Hey Elisa,

      I think that’s a great idea. My favorite bit in the whole video is when Mitchell talks about the fact that improving his reading is the accomplishment that he’s the most proud of because he had to work at it — and football is just something that came easy to him, so it’s harder to be proud of.

      That’s a powerful message….

      1. Elisa Waingort

        Hey Bill,
        I shared this with my students and they seemed impressed. At least, they were listening.
        That counts for something. I’m on a crusade this year to get my non-reading boys to love, or at least like, to read.

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