Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success—but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success.

With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals—personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.


I have been a special education teacher for almost a decade now. Over the years, I have noticed that my students have struggled more and more with effort and motivation. In the instant gratification, blue-ribbon culture we live in, I find that many students are unwilling to put forth the effort it really takes to master new concepts and skills. Many have a "one and done" attitude and are unwilling to go back and make corrections and try again. They want to avoid the things that are hard for them and don't see the value in hard work. I have found this attitude to be especially prevalent among students with special needs.

So like any good teacher, I set out to discover new ways to change this and build a classroom environment and culture that fostered effort and better motivated students. I had heard of Dweck's book before and heard good things from my colleagues who had read it, so I decided it was as good a place to start as any other.

This book is life altering. While I was somewhat familiar with the concept of mindset before reading the book, I had always thought of it in relation to education. I never considered how a person's mindset could affect their parenting, business, or relationships. In this book, Dweck outlines the two different mindsets: growth and fixed, and provides information on various studies used to develop these mindsets. She also gives several examples from various fields - business, sports, education, domestic life - that exemplify the two different mindsets. She gives information on practices for implementing a growth mindset and talks about several studies that show the power of having a growth mindset.

I had several mind-explosions throughout the reading of this novel and found myself  underlining and flagging pages for future reference. After reading this book, I truly believe that developing a growth mindset in my students, as well as myself, will make a difference both inside and outside of my classroom. Reading this book as energized me and changed how I think about a lot of things in my personal and professional life. I think this is a book that everyone should read.

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