Dweck’s theory of motivation

Here’s an article on Geoff Petty’s site about Carol Dweck’s work on motivation for learning:

Dweck – Theory of motivation

Dweck’s ideas helped form the basis of programmes like BLP and the theory is simply explained on the site. The key teaching implications are the following:

Stress that:

•Intelligence and ability can be cultivated
•Effort is required for learning
•Effort grows connections in your brain which make you smarter
•The brain is like a muscle which strengthens with exercise and you need to ‘work out’ to get bright. (Teachers have added more than 30 points to IQ scores)
•Don’t attribute difficulty to fixed intelligence
•Avoid defensive withdrawal of effort

I’m a bit cautious of some of the language (reference to the brain as a muscle or the brain growing connections) as they might encourage misconceptions; but the core idea, that education makes us more ‘intelligent’ is one worth encouraging students to adopt!

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