Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset

We’ve had quite a few discussions at school about the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, and I found these notes while tidying up for Christmas.  In summary, someone displaying a fixed mindset believes that the skills they have in a particular domain are innate, or that they cannot be improved through effort.  Conversely, when a person is displaying a growth mindset, they are working under the belief that work and effort can improve their skill in a domain.  Anecdotally, people can have a fixed mindset for one domain, and a growth mindset for another domain, and their mindset within a domain can even switch from day to day.

On my scribbled notes, I found this table, relating mindset to Schlechty’s engagement framework.

Fixed Mindset Growth Mindset
Level of Engagement Rebellion Retreatism Ritual Compliance Strategic Compliance Engagement
Attention Diverted None Low High High
Commitment None None None Low High

With my notes attached to this table, I have written that you can have a low commitment to your learning, yet still have a growth mindset, however an engaged student must display a growth mindset, by definition.

The development of a culture of a Growth Mindset, to me, could be a reasonable tool to move students from Ritual Compliance to Strategic Compliance and Engagement.


Cheers all, and have a great Christmas, as we all unwind and relax, and mentally recharge for a new school year in 2017.

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