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How to Help Every Child Achieve Their Potential

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How to Help Every Child Achieve Their Potential


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How did your parents praise you when you were a child? Your answer might reveal your learning mind-set.

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That sullen kid sitting in the back of the classroom who claims to be bored likely suffers from a “fixed mind-set” rather than ennui. And the studious kid jotting down notes and asking questions likely demonstrates a “growth mind-set” – one that will prove useful throughout life. So says psychologist Carol Dweck, whose decade of research on child behavior discovered that the best way to inspire children is to praise their process, not their intellect. getAbstract recommends Dweck’s presentation, illustrated by RSA Animate, to parents, educators and anyone who helps young minds flourish. Her revelations have implications for learning far beyond childhood and adolescence.


Children with a “fixed mind-set” tend to think that a person’s intelligence is unvarying over a lifetime, while those with a “growth mind-set” believe that they can become more intelligent through their own efforts or with help from mentors. Kids with a growth mind-set don’t necessarily think that everyone can attain an Einstein-level of genius, but they recognize that Albert Einstein worked long and hard for his achievements.

A research study followed hundreds of young teens as they navigated the tough transition into seventh grade. The study examined the subjects...

About the Speaker

Carol Dweck is a professor of psychology at Stanford University. 

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