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The Power of Believing That You Can Improve

Dr. Carol S. Dweck | 10:24


The power of yet, I heard about a high school in Chicago, where students had to pass a certain number of courses to graduate. And if they didn't pass a course, they got the grade. Not yet. And I thought that was fantastic. Because if you get a failing grade, you think I'm nothing, I'm nowhere. But if you get the grade not yet, you understand that you're on a learning curve, it gives you a path into the future, not yet also gave me insight into a critical event. Early in my career, a real turning point.

I'm one of the see how children coped with challenge and difficulty. So I gave 10 year olds problems that were slightly too hard for them. Some of them reacted in a shockingly positive way. They said things like, I love a challenge. Or, you know, I was hoping this would be informative. They understood that their abilities could be developed. They had what I call a growth mindset.

But other students felt it was tragic, catastrophic. From their more fixed mindset perspective, their intelligence had been up for judgment, and they failed. Instead of luxuriating in the power of yet, they were gripped in the tyranny of now. So what do they do next?

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