Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? A great introduction to this influential field.



  • grip – take and keep a firm hold of; grasp tightly
  • raise a child – bring up a child
  • perseverance – persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success
  • persistence – the fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition
  • affluent – (especially of a group or area) having a great deal of money; wealthy


Think about it

Answer the questions below. Pause at times indicated in brackets.

  • What is so special about the ”not yet” grade? (0:54)
  • What two kinds of reaction did Caroline’s students have? (1:59)
  • What are the differences between fixed mind-set and growth mind-set in the face of an error? (3:13)
  • In what way should children be praised? (4:39)
  • Is it possible to change students’ mindsets? (6:39)
  • What is the connection between “not yet” attitude and equality? (8:24)


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the correct forms of the words in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Here are some things we can do. First of all, we can praise ____ WISDOM, not praising intelligence or talent. That has ____ FAILURE. Don’t do that anymore. But praising the process that kids engage in: their effort, their strategies, their focus, their ____ PERSEVERE, their ____ IMPROVE. This process praise creates kids who are ____ HARD and resilient


Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words. Use ONE word per blank space.

I received a letter recently from ________ 13-year-old boy. He said, “Dear Professor Dweck, I appreciate that your writing is based ________ solid scientific research, and that’s why I decided to put it ________ practice. I put more effort into my schoolwork, into my relationship ________ my family, and into my relationship with kids ________ school, and I experienced great improvement ____ all of those areas. I now realize I ____ wasted most of my life.”


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