The Power of Yet

1.) Throughout this TED Talk, Dweck utilizes key terms such as “growth” and “fixed” mindsets in an attempt to better explain efficacious learning methods for modern kids and young adults. According to Dweck, a growth mindset is one in which kids believe that “their abilities [can] be developed,” (00:41). In other words, this outlook focuses on positives. When faced with a challenge, someone with a growth mindset will look to overcome and improve for the sake of their growth. A fixed mindset, however, causes people to “run from the error,” (1:57). People with fixed mindsets fail to engage, often looking at challenges as negative roadblocks in their life.

2.) One of Dweck’s methods for developing a growth mindset is “praising the process that kids engage in,” (4:06). Rather than either rewarding or punishing kids based on their ability to complete something, Dweck advocates for praising the problem solving process. If a kid cannot solve a problem but insists on trying anyway, Dweck notes that praise is deserved. Another strategy Dweck utilizes is using the terms “yet” and “not yet”. Dweck notes that using these terms gives kids “a path into the future that creates greater persistence,” (5:22). Ultimately, these methods seem like great tools. Building confidence and persistence is important. Accuracy is just as important, though, something that Dweck seems to undermine throughout her talk. If someone can never succeed yet also never gives up, for example, they’re just wasting their time. In the end, a balance of accuracy training and “yet” training is in check. The next generation should be able to consistently perform as well as strive to improve.

3.) Dweck’s notion of intelligence is, in fact, different from what many would consider to be normal. Rather than focusing on the actual accumulation of knowledge, Dweck’s views seem to highlight a person’s ability to improve. Throughout this talk, Dweck narrows in on key terms such as “perseverance”, “confidence”, “strategy”, and “progress”, while undermining the importance of accuracy and consistency. From this, one can conclude that intelligence and knowledge are not mutually exclusive under Dweck’s ideology.

4.) The most common example of a fixed mindset for me would probably be after taking and failing tests in school. To be completely honest, I’ve never actually failed (or come close to failing) a test in school. However, there have been times where I’ve underperformed and let myself down. In any case, each of these occurrences have been followed by a completely fixed mindset. I’ve never been one to look at a “failed” test and think to myself, “wow, this is a good learning experience”. Rather, I’ve usually done what Dweck talks of at 1:57 and looked for people to compare myself to. After seeing I’ve done better than them, my hard feelings are quelled. This never actually results in improvement.

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