Carol Dweck's Theory of Mindsets and Its Application in Our Life

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Carol Dweck's Theory of Mindsets and Its Application in Our Life essay
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Carol Dweck’s mindset theory argues that all human beings are born with the great potential and that the extent to which they realize this potential is dependent on the the mindset that is instilled in them. Dweck therefore argues that a positive mindset is key towards the full realization of man’s potential. Dweck singles out the current system of education in the United States as one that places a ceiling on the capacity of students to perform well or to achieve their potential. According to Carol, the current education system in the United States focuses on rewarding results as opposed to rewarding the process. For example, students who get answers write in examinations receive high grades while students who get fewer scores correct receive lower grades. In turn, this creates an educational culture where students are more result-oriented as opposed to process-oriented.

Students who are result-oriented show lower degrees of creativity in life, are more fixed minded and are incapable of thinking outside the box whenever they find a challenge in using their already established way of doing things. Moreover, this form of education may discourage many students from improving their performance as they may grow to view themselves as being dumb or being foolish. For example, if a student constantly receives poor grades in school while his/her friend receives higher grades, this student will eventually grow to view his/her friend as being bright and to view himself/herself as being dumb. Such a student would in turn lose any motivation that they may have of improving their performance in the future.

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In contrast, Dweck proposes a more process-oriented approach. In such an approach, students would be graded for the level of effort that they put into their work as opposed to their performance and grade that they score in an exam. This would encourage students to put more effort into improving themselves which in turn would improve their performance. According to Dweck, such a system has been proven to be more effective in helping students improve their performances. For example, Dweck indicates that over a period of one and a half year, students in a school in a reservation near Seattle improved from being the lowest ranked class in the state to the top class in the state after the introduction of a system that rewarded effort as opposed to results.

In our study of people’s lives, we have observed them experience different difficulties but treating these obstacles as learning opportunities and therefore helping them learn and grow. In many of the cases, the people are faced by numerous difficulties despite their positive mindset. For example, in studying Kewauna, Paul Tough Notes that she “seemed able to ignore the day-to-day indignities of life in poverty…and instead stay focused on her vision of a more successful future” (Tough, 40). Kewauna was able to maintain her positive mindset by constantly reminding herself that nobody wanted a failure. When thinking of her future, she often pictured herself as a successful business lady who walked down turn and carried a briefcase (Tough, 40). This gave Kewauna a goal to work towards and the strength to overcome the numerous challenges that she experienced in her efforts.

Kewauna experienced challenges in various forms including difficult writing assignments and tests. Despite these challenges, she was able to maintain a strong growth mindset by having a willingness to learn and accept feedback even in cases where this feedback was mainly criticism. This willingness to learn and accept feedback is comparable to that of future Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. In college as a freshman, Sotomajor “had to face up to another obstacle: the general deficiency of [her] written English” (Sotomayor, 80). This positive mindset is emphasized by Dweck in her article “Revisiting Mindsets” when she insists that the point is not that one can do anything if they just work hard enough but that one can develop their abilities through embracing new strategies and seeking the input of others (1). According to Dweck, such an approach can be in helping one overcome their initial failures. The willingness to learn from past failures and to overcome obstacles is further exemplified by the college applicant in telling the admissions officer that “failure is about growth, learning, overcoming, and moving on”. While this approach may not yield the fastest results in helping us meet our goals and improving performance, Perez argues that it helps us develop “the ability to bounce back…, a fundamental life skill students have to learn on their own” (Perez, 36)

In my own life, I have had multiple experiences in trying to cultivate resilience and to improve myself through a positive mindset. When I first entered school, I was a among the last students to be admitted into school. My parents were poor and therefore, by the time school started, they had not collected enough school fees to pay for my education. Subsequently, I was forced to remain at home for an extra year while I watched my age mates head to school every day. My mum tried her level best to give me a good education all while maintaining two jobs to make ends meet for the family and to pay for my education in the future. However, I gradually taught myself how to read and write and by the time I entered second grade, I became among the top students in my class. I had learnt from these struggles that nothing would be given to me in life unless I worked and fought for it every day. This turned to be an important experience for me because I was able to carry the same attitude throughout high school.

However, getting into college, i faced numerous challenges. Not only was I thrust into a strange new environment where I had to fed for myself, I also carried the responsibility of managing my own time. It was the first time in my life that I had the freedom away from my home and while this was quite intriguing, it also presented numerous challenges. I had to resist the urges to go to parties, or to go clubbing and to focus on my education instead. However, I kept on constantly reminding myself that this was only for a short period of time and that my studies were essential in helping me improve my life condition and the conditions of my family.

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Expert Review
The essay delves into Carol Dweck's mindset theory and its implications for education and personal growth. It effectively discusses the drawbacks of the current education system in the US that emphasizes results over process, and proposes a shift to rewarding effort as a means to encourage growth mindset. The essay supports its arguments with examples of individuals like Kewauna and Sonia Sotomayor who demonstrated resilience and willingness to learn despite challenges. The personal experience shared also adds depth to the discussion. However, to enhance the analysis, the essay could provide more direct connections between Dweck's theory and the personal experience, elucidating how the mindset concept influenced the author's approach to challenges.
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What can be improved
Connection to Personal Experience: Further elucidate the specific ways in which the mindset theory influenced your approach to challenges and personal growth. Expanded Application of Theory: Relate Dweck's mindset theory more explicitly to the discussed personal experience, showing how its principles were actively applied. Impact of Growth Mindset: Discuss in more detail how adopting a growth mindset positively affected your response to obstacles and overall personal development.
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Carol Dweck’s Theory of Mindsets and Its Application in Our Life. (2020, December 14). WritingBros. Retrieved May 24, 2024, from
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Carol Dweck's Theory of Mindsets and Its Application in Our Life essay

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