I believe the power of YET for students is one of the most important words for them to meet their potential as learners. It is a word that educators and parents should also be using on a regular basis as well!
One’s mindset determines how they behave, their outlook on life and attitude towards everything they do. Mindset is a simple idea discovered by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck following years of research on achievement and success. Her research found that brains and talent don’t bring success and sometimes even stand in the way of it. On top of this, praising ones brains and talent doesn’t foster self-esteem and accomplishment and can actually even jeopardize them. Where as teaching students about mindset and this simple idea can actually increase marks as well as their productivity.
Fixed v Growth Mindset
Carol Dweck’s research has found the following:
- Fixed mindset – having a fixed mindset about yourself and your abilities means you think you are the way you are and that you can’t change anything. Sometimes students with a fixed mindset believe that their talent alone can create success without putting in any effort which unfortunately is not true.
- Growth mindset – means you believe your skills are not static and that you have the ability to change and learn. This type of mindset can really assist one to succeed as this allows them to believe by working hard they can improve. With a growth mindset a student can know that whilst they may not be good at something it could either mean they haven’t learnt or practiced it YET.
At the end of the day all the tips and strategies given to students to assist them to study and improve their marks won’t work if they don’t have the right mindset in the first place – a growth mindset.
For further information about fixed v growth mindset you can click here to read another blog I have written about the importance of a growth mindset for students.
Use the word YET
By using the word YET it can really alter and improve a students’ motivation. It can create the idea of learning over time.
So when they say “I can’t do this“, “I don’t have the skills needed” or “I’m not smart enough” by adding the word YET it can really change their motivation levels. With guidance and regular reminding and using the word YET it changes their fixed mindset statement they have made into a growth mindset one.
And it means that with your guidance they will continue on their learning trajectory and get there eventually. It puts their fixed mindset statement into a growth mindset context of learning overtime.
To begin the process of fostering a growth mindset, we need to catch ourselves when we are thinking with a fixed mindset and then revise those thinking patterns toward that of a growth mindset. When we find ourselves thinking “I’m just not wired that way”, we need to make a mental note of the thought and revise our thinking patterns toward something along the lines of “I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’ll keep trying to learn.” Doing this will not only assist us in being more resilient, but it will also help to keep us more motivated.
So the next time you hear your child saying they CAN’T do something remember to add the word YET to the end of the sentence. It is amazing how powerful this change in the way you acknowledge can make a difference to their beliefs about themselves and their abilities. You might even like to give it a go yourself if you find yourself ever saying I CAN’T too.
For further assistance on mindset or other areas on how I can assist you and your child please do get in touch.