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There’s More to a ‘Growth Mindset’ Than Assuming You Have It

Stanford University psychology professor Carol Dweck coined the phrase “growth mindset” as the belief that you can develop your abilities, and then watched as the term took hold as a meme for motivation on playgrounds and in classrooms across America.

Now she’s worried about its misapplication: Teachers who use growth mindset as a shorthand without understanding it; parents who attempt to teach a growth mindset by haranguing kids to try harder; schools that assume they can measure growth mindsets by asking teachers and students to grade how they handle adversity and solve complex problems.