Published at Friday, 10 May 2019. math worksheet. By Adrianna Giraud.
“I think we have to teach kids from a very young age that it’s okay to make mistakes,” says Dr. Pagirsky. “It’s okay to be open to the experience of not knowing, it’s okay to not always have the answer. The best thing parents and educators can do is be there for those times when kids do struggle and reinforce that, hey, you’re working hard, you’re trying to do well, and I’m going to provide some help.”
Dr. Dweck has found that people who have what she calls a “fixed mindset” think that success is based on an innate ability, while people with a “growth mindset” think that success is based on hard work, which means that your abilities are malleable and can always be improved. People with a fixed mindset perceive failure as proof of their limits — obviously they can’t succeed at this. People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that their abilities can improve with hard work, and may interpret a failure as a sign that they should try harder next time. In 2007 a group of researchers including Dr. Dweck studied the math achievement of students with both fixed and growth mindsets at the start of junior high. They found that the students’ scores were comparable at the beginning of the study, but as their coursework became more difficult, the students with a growth mindset showed more persistence and got better grades.
But saying ‘I don’t know’ can actually reduce a lot of the anxiety about having the right answers.” Better yet, Dr. Pagirsky recommends saying, “Let’s look it up together and find out.” That way you’re modeling the best way to respond when you don’t know something — which is one of the most important lessons there is.
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