As we note in SMART Strengths, a growth mindset is critical to learning, and teachers, parents, and coaches can help students develop growth mindsets. Both teaching neural plasticity and telling stories that model growth mindsets at work help tip young people (and adults!) away from fixed mindsets and toward growth.
Here’s a great story for teachers or others to use that incorporates neural plasticity as it tells of successful professor(!) of engineering who turned around a life of failure in mathematics in her 20s. Barbara Oakley is now a professor of engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and author of A Mind for Numbers: How to Excell at Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra). (And she was in the Army! A point that really calls to Dave after his work with that organization – including teaching growth mindsets! – over the last five years!) Oh, and it is also geat on how to learn a foreign language. How much more useful can one article get?
Oh, and what about resilience? She worked hard at mastering a foreign language, found it didn’t pay off for her (though it seems to for many), then went back to work at another tough learning effort! Resilience! Grit! Yep. Great article.
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