For Little Voice, the concept of growth mindset is a means of defining the encouraging message and belief that is embedded throughout our very story.
This message encourages our readers to believe in themselves, to work hard and to chase their dreams with the confidence that they can be accomplished!
For Carol Dweck, author of ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’, this concept can be further defined as a self-perception that people hold about themselves. Dweck defines growth mindset as a belief in which the most basic human abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. As Dweck notes, “this view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment”.
The Glossary of Education Reform further expands on this belief by stating that “students who embrace growth mindsets – the belief that they can learn more or become smarter if they work hard and persevere – may learn more, learn it more quickly, and view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve their learning and skills”.
Dweck’s book also considers the opposite of a growth mindset, a fixed mindset which many people do adapt. A fixed mindset, as Dweck notes, is a belief in which a human’s basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. “They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success – without effort”. A fixed mindset more often than not discourages students to achieve what they may feel is beyond them; as Dweck’s findings suggest, they make excuses to rationalize their failure.
Teaching students to adopt a growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset, is a way of changing the way our students and children think. A growth mindset reinforces positive thinking but also positive behaviour. It pushes students to work hard to attain their goals, as opposed to creating an excuse why they simply can’t attain them.
Little Voice is a great classroom tool to reinforce this idea of growth mindset. It teaches students to set goals, to be creative and to chase their dreams; but more importantly, it offers an underlying message of encouragement, inspiration and perseverance that reminds students to believe in their ability to reach for excellence and to never give up!
Sometimes all it takes is a little book to encourage us to adopt this way of thinking and to bring us on a path that inspires us to work hard and reach our fullest potential.
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