Tag Archives: John Mighton

Mindset – The New Psychology of Success

In both classes we are talking about Mindset.  Afters years of research, Dr. Carol Dweck, wrote a book:

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I read this book several years ago and was immediately taken with her ideas and tried to apply them in my own life and as a teacher and parent.   Essentially, people who have a fixed mind set believe that intelligence or talent are innate and we can’t do anything to affect them.  People with a growth mindset believe that intelligence or talent can be changed, continually improved upon.  This graphic explains it in more detail:


We will be watching and discussing several videos on mindset over the next few days.  We started with these:

One aspect that really struck me is the part about praise, I’ve read about the negative impact of the wrong type praise before but this really solidified the idea in my mind.

I wrote a blog post about praise on Urbanmoms a few years back and the Globe & Mail interviewed me about it several weeks ago (still waiting for the article to be published).

I think it’s fairly obvious why I am sharing this information with the class.  Their own mindsets will affect their future success.  By success I do not mean financial success or job success.  I include happiness and life satisfaction (much more important than large amounts of money) in the definition of success.  The good news is we can change our mindset (not with brain surgery as one student asked – it’s easier than that).  The first step to changing our mindset is understanding what it is and then to believe that we are in charge of our own success, once a human being realizes that, the possibilities are endless!

The book Mindset inspired me to find out more and I have compiled a list of books that I read before and after that support the idea that all humans can reach great potential, our futures are not predetermined by genetics at all.  If you are interested in this topic check them out (I have all of them if you want to borrow one).



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Posted by on March 4, 2014 in Uncategorized


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The Myth of ‘I’m Bad at Math’

This is the title of an excellent article by Miles Kimball and Noah Smith in The Atlantic magazine about the “Math Person” myth and math phobia.

“I’m just not a math person.”

We hear it all the time. And we’ve had enough. Because we believe that the idea of “math people” is the most self-destructive idea in America today. The truth is, you probably are a math person, and by thinking otherwise, you are possibly hamstringing your own career. Worse, you may be helping to perpetuate a pernicious myth that is harming underprivileged children—the myth of inborn genetic math ability.



This article reminded me of John Mighton‘s book “The Myth of Ability”, “Mindset” by Carol Dweck and .  John Mighton writes about how all children can succeed at math with good instruction.  Carol Dweck’s book is about how our perception of our intelligence as either fixed or changeable affects our success.  If we believe we can control our intelligence and learning to some degree (and neuroscience tells us we can) then we are more likely to be successful.  On the other hand, if we believe that intelligence (or talents such as sports or musical ability) is genetic and we are born with it then we will not put in the effort required to improve.


The main message is that all people can be good at math with proper instruction, determination and work.  Math phobia is a big problem in school and we need to get rid of it.   It’s very important for adults to be aware of this and not talk about being bad at math around children.


Posted by on November 5, 2013 in Uncategorized


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