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What is Growth Mindset?

The term ‘growth mindset’ was coined by Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, USA.

Supported by a range of studies, Dweck found that there were different ways of viewing ability: as fixed or flexible.

Someone with a ‘fixed mindset’ believes ability to be fixed, whereas someone with a ‘growth mindset’ believes it can alter, depending on other factors such as focus, effort, deliberate practice and resilience. Having a growth mindset requires understanding and believing in neuroplasticity – in essence, that you can train your brain.

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Though the terms ‘fixed mindset’ and ‘growth mindset’ were coined to distinguish two opposing ideas, Dweck asserted that mindset moves on a continuum. For example:



Furthermore, she said someone’s mindset can vary (and move). For example, you could have a fixed mindset about maths (‘I’m no good and never will be’) but have a growth mindset about physical strength (‘I know that if I keep training regularly, and gradually push my limit, I can become stronger’).


At Beechwood, we define a growth mindset as: a deeply-held belief that you are capable of improving.

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