Build a Learning Mindset4:08 with Dave McFarland
No one's born "smart" or "stupid." Intelligence is something we can always increase by working our brains like muscles to grow neurons, and develop deeper and stronger neural connections. In this video learn how a "Growth Mindset" can literally help you learn better, while a "Fixed Mindset" can keep you from pushing yourself to learn and grow.
Growth Mindset Resources
- Mindset Kit: a free set of online lessons and practices designed to help you teach and foster adaptive beliefs about learning.
Imagine you're invited into a small room, and a person hands you a puzzle to solve. 0:00 You solve it quickly, and the person who gave you the puzzle says wow. 0:05 You got that done fast. 0:09 You must be really smart. 0:10 She says let's try one more. 0:13 And gives you a choice between two puzzles. 0:14 One has the same number of pieces as the first. 0:17 The second has twice as many pieces. 0:19 She asks you, which puzzle do you want to solve? 0:22 Which puzzle would you select? 0:25 This scenario is based on a real experiment. 0:27 And if you're like many people who participated, 0:30 you choose the simpler puzzle to solve. 0:32 Now, with one small change in the experiment, the situation is reversed. 0:36 Most of the people in the second group chose the more challenging puzzle 0:40 with twice as many pieces. 0:44 What was the difference between the two groups? 0:47 A simple change in response. 0:50 In the second group, you must be really smart was replaced with, 0:52 that looks like it took a lot of effort. 0:56 In other words, the people who are praised for 0:58 their effort push themselves to try the more challenging task. 1:01 Those that were labeled smart played it safe and tried the simpler puzzle. 1:05 This experiment demonstrates the difference between a fixed mindset and 1:09 a growth mindset. 1:13 A fixed mindset puts a label and a boundary on someone's ability. 1:15 Saying, you're smart, 1:18 suggests that you've got a fixed amount of intelligence that never changes. 1:20 If you feel like your intelligence can't change, then a failure, 1:25 like not being able to complete that second puzzle, 1:28 feels like evidence that you're not so smart after all. 1:31 While it might sound like a big compliment to be called a math whiz or a programming 1:35 genius, it's been proven to actually limit a person's potential to grow and achieve. 1:39 Just as labels like stupid or phrases like, I guess I'm 1:45 just not the programming type, keep people from pushing themselves to learn and grow. 1:48 On the other hand, a growth mindset is one that sees effort as the key to success. 1:54 A growth mindset likes challenges and 2:00 accepts failure as just one step along the learning path. 2:02 The truth is, we aren't just born smart or stupid. 2:06 We can always grow our intelligence and learn new skills, and 2:10 science backs this up. 2:14 As we learn, our brains literally change. 2:16 They grow new neurons in the hippocampus, the area within the brain responsible for 2:19 consolidating short term and long term memory. 2:24 New cells are created and new connections made as we spend effort 2:27 to learn a new skill, put it into practice, and try new things. 2:31 In fact, those cells aren't just there, just like no one's just smart. 2:35 They're created through effort and practice. 2:40 Like a muscle, you can exercise your brain to make it stronger. 2:43 How can knowing this help you learn? 2:48 If you embrace the growth mindset and understand that learning is a process that 2:50 requires effort, you're better prepared to take on new challenges. 2:55 For example, when presented with a new programming concept or 2:59 language, you'll rarely just get it. 3:02 You'll need to study and practice to succeed, everyone does. 3:05 It's easy to get stuck in the fixed mindset. 3:10 So when you start hearing yourself say, I'm no good at this, 3:13 ask yourself instead, how can I improve? 3:17 Instead of, I give up, say, let me try a different way. 3:21 Replace, I failed, with, mistakes are part of learning. 3:24 And understand when you say, this is too hard, that learning just takes time. 3:30 You can't expect to get stronger by going to a gym for just a week. 3:35 And you can't expect to learn a new programming language instantly. 3:39 As you put in the time and 3:43 effort, your brain, like a muscle, continues to grow bigger and stronger. 3:45 So, don't worry about a final grade. 3:50 Don't worry if a code challenge takes you ten tries. 3:53 Don't obsess about the number of badges or points you have. 3:56 Just think about your next challenge, 4:00 what new things you can learn, and how you can grow as a developer. 4:01 Because you can, and we all can. 4:05
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