We were thrilled with the turnout and conversation at last night's event, featuring Carol Dweck and Michael Light, with our partners at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Well over 100 parents, teachers, and interested community members joined to hear Dweck's groundbreaking research on mindset, paired with Michael Light's commentary on creativity as a maker and artist. A few of our favorite moments:
Dr. Dweck opened with a wonderful quote from Benjamin Barber:
“I don't divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures, those who make it or those who don't. I divide the world into learners and non-learners.”
She proceeded to share her latest research on mindset, as even more studies have now been completed showing that students with a growth mindset (see our last blog post for more on what this means) outperform others in both math and verbal skills, and that the effect occurs across economic levels. She summarized it as the power of the word "yet." The difference between a student who says "I'm not good at math" and one who says "I'm not good at math - yet" speaks volumes about that student's beliefs and mindset, how resilient they'll be as learners working through difficult material, and ultimately how successful they will be across a range of outcomes in school and life.
Dr. Dweck shared an anecdote about a recent consulting project she's done with a major league baseball team, helping them detect mindset in potential new players. She suggested they ask, for example, "What do you think you'll have to change to succeed in the majors?" - those players that acknowledge they may have to change everything to succeed, and are willing to do it, are most likely to succeed. She asks how they got so good at baseball, looking to see if players attribute it to inherent talent or to their hard work - the latter representing the growth mindset they'll need to continue succeeding.
As we wrote earlier, the best news is that mindset is trainable. It will be a core principle in our curriculum design for Millennium, part of the foundation of beliefs and attitudes that guides a student's success as a learner.