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  • The power of yet.

  • I heard about a high school in Chicago

  • where students had to pass a certain number of courses to graduate,

  • and if they didn't pass a course, they got the grade "Not Yet."

  • And I thought that was fantastic,

  • because if you get a failing grade, you think, I'm nothing, I'm nowhere.

  • But if you get the grade "Not Yet"

  • you understand that you're on a learning curve.

  • It gives you a path into the future.

  • "Not Yet" also gave me insight into a critical event early in my career,

  • a real turning point.

  • I wanted to see

  • how children coped with challenge and difficulty,

  • so I gave 10-year-olds

  • problems that were slightly too hard for them.

  • Some of them reacted in a shockingly positive way.

  • They said things like, "I love a challenge,"

  • or, "You know, I was hoping this would be informative."

  • They understood that their abilities could be developed.

  • They had what I call a growth mindset.

  • But other students felt it was tragic, catastrophic.

  • From their more fixed mindset perspective,

  • their intelligence had been up for judgment and they failed.

  • Instead of luxuriating in the power of yet,

  • they were gripped in the tyranny of now.

  • So what do they do next?

  • I'll tell you what they do next.

  • In one study, they told us they would probably cheat the next time

  • instead of studying more if they failed a test.

  • In another study, after a failure,

  • they looked for someone who did worse than they did

  • so they could feel really good about themselves.

  • And in study after study, they have run from difficulty.

  • Scientists measured the electrical activity from the brain

  • as students confronted an error.

  • On the left, you see the fixed mindset students.

  • There's hardly any activity.

  • They run from the error.

  • They don't engage with it.

  • But on the right, you have the students with the growth mindset,

  • the idea that abilities can be developed.

  • They engage deeply.

  • Their brain is on fire with yet.

  • They engage deeply.

  • They process the error.

  • They learn from it and they correct it.

  • How are we raising our children?

  • Are we raising them for now instead of yet?

  • Are we raising kids who are obsessed with getting A's?

  • Are we raising kids who don't know how to dream big dreams?

  • Their biggest goal is getting the next A or the next test score?

  • And are they carrying this need for constant validation with them

  • into their future lives?

  • Maybe, because employers are coming to me and saying,

  • we have already raised a generation

  • of young workers who can't get through the day

  • without an award.

  • So what can we do?

  • How can we build that bridge to yet?

  • Here are some things we can do.

  • First of all, we can praise wisely, not praising intelligence or talent.

  • That has failed.

  • Don't do that anymore.

  • But praising the process that kids engage in:

  • their effort, their strategies, their focus, their perseverance,

  • their improvement.

  • This process praise

  • creates kids who are hardy and resilient.

  • There are other ways to reward yet.

  • We recently teamed up with game scientists

  • from the University of Washington

  • to create a new online math game that rewarded yet.

  • In this game, students were rewarded for effort, strategy and progress.

  • The usual math game

  • rewards you for getting answers right right now,

  • but this game rewarded process.

  • And we got more effort,

  • more strategies,

  • more engagement over longer periods of time,

  • and more perseverance when they hit really, really hard problems.

  • Just the words "yet" or "not yet," we're finding,

  • give kids greater confidence,

  • give them a path into the future that creates greater persistence.

  • And we can actually change students' mindsets.

  • In one study, we taught them

  • that every time they push out of their comfort zone

  • to learn something new and difficult,

  • the neurons in their brain can form new, stronger connections,

  • and over time they can get smarter.

  • Look what happened: in this study,

  • students who were not taught this growth mindset

  • continued to show declining grades over this difficult school transition,

  • but those who were taught this lesson showed a sharp rebound in their grades.

  • We have shown this now, this kind of improvement,

  • with thousands and thousands of kids, especially struggling students.

  • So let's talk about equality.

  • In our country, there are groups of students

  • who chronically underperform,

  • for example, children in inner cities,

  • or children on Native American reservations.

  • And they've done so poorly for so long that many people think it's inevitable.

  • But when educators create growth mindset classrooms steeped in yet,

  • equality happens.

  • And here are just a few examples.

  • In one year, a kindergarten class in Harlem, New York

  • scored in the 95th percentile on the National Achievement Test.

  • Many of those kids could not hold a pencil when they arrived at school.

  • In one year,

  • fourth grade students in the South Bronx, way behind,

  • became the number one fourth grade class in the state of New York

  • on the state math test.

  • In a year to a year and a half,

  • Native American students in a school on a reservation

  • went from the bottom of their district to the top,

  • and that district included affluent sections of Seattle.

  • So the native kids outdid the Microsoft kids.

  • This happened because the meaning

  • of effort and difficulty were transformed.

  • Before, effort and difficulty

  • made them feel dumb, made them feel like giving up,

  • but now, effort and difficulty,

  • that's when their neurons are making new connections,

  • stronger connections.

  • That's when they're getting smarter.

  • I received a letter recently from a 13-year-old boy.

  • He said, "Dear Professor Dweck,

  • I appreciate that your writing is based on solid scientific research,

  • and that's why I decided to put it into practice.

  • I put more effort into my schoolwork,

  • into my relationship with my family,

  • and into my relationship with kids at school,

  • and I experienced great improvement in all of those areas.

  • I now realize I've wasted most of my life."

  • Let's not waste any more lives,

  • because once we know

  • that abilities are capable of such growth,

  • it becomes a basic human right for children, all children,

  • to live in places that create that growth,

  • to live in places filled with yet.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

The power of yet.

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【TED】Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve (The power of believing that you can improve | Carol Dweck)

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    CUChou posted on 2015/01/17
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