Do you think intelligence is a fixed trait? If you do, then you might be one of many people with a fixed mind-set. In Carol S. Dweck’s an essay, “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids”, she describes fixed and growth mind-sets. She describes how they affect school, and how they affect social relationships as well. The two central ideas of “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids” are that fixed mind-sets can make a person shy away from a challenge and that growth mind-sets can be put into place by parents.
One of the two central ideas of “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids” is that fixed mind-sets can make an individual less eager to face challenges that would help them grow and improve on their skills. At the University of Hong Kong, Carol Dweck and her colleagues looked at freshman who scored poorly on their English proficiency exams and they noticed that “students with a growth mind-set who…were far more inclined to take a remedial English course than were the low-scoring students with a fixed mind-set,” (Dweck, 136-141). Also when Carol Dweck and a Columbia psychologist gave fifth graders a written IQ test and after the first 10 problems, they started praising them. They found that this “encouraged a fixed mind-set,” (Dweck, 187). Also, when they studied the children further, they discovered that the children “shied away from [challenging assignments]—they wanted an easy one instead,” (Dweck, 190). Thus, providing more proof that having a fixed mind-set can make an individual less enthusiastic about challenges, but parents can help with that.
The second central idea of “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids” is that parents can put their children into a growth mind-set by following a few simple rules. The first rule is not to encourage children, “by telling him or her how brilliant and talented he or she is,” because their, “research suggests that this is misguided,” (Dweck, 177-178). By telling their children how talented and brilliant he or she is, the...
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