Barb Novak contributed this post. She is reading Mindset by Carol Dweck and sharing her thinking about every chapter. Click here to read more of Barb's posts about mindset.
Chapter 4, applying mindset to sports, got me thinking about the differing ways mindset applies to my own life. As I already confessed, I have a very, very fixed mindset about sports and fitness. This chapter made me ask myself hard questions about whether I also have a fixed mindset about relationships and whether events in my life have led to that mindset. That, though, is a discussion better had over drinks or, perhaps, with a therapist.
The part of this chapter most applicable to education discussed the connection between mindset and bullying.
Dweck suggested a bully most likely has a fixed mindset. The bully's actions are a way for the bully to exert power. He/she judges people to continue feeling good about him/herself. A "victim" of bullying who responds with a fixed mindset sees him/herself as a victim and may accept what the bully is saying as truth. In contrast, a "victim" with a growth mindset may want to help the bully change and works at forgiving the bully. Dweck suggests fostering growth mindset within the culture of a school will reduce bullying and develop how individuals respond to bullies.