Professor Carol S. Dweck

Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University


Learning mindsets; Inclusion and equity in education; Supportive school and classroom cultures



Unlocking potential by changing how students think about learning

Professor Carol Dweck has spent much of her career challenging the longstanding cultural narrative that human intellectual potential is fixed. Carol’s work shows that in the right environment, any student can build a growth mindset—and develop their intellectual abilities.


The research shows that students with a fixed mindset often worry about being judged—as Carol did when her own primary school teacher seated all students in the classroom in IQ order. They worry that having to work hard at something might mean that they’re not good at it, and that failures and setbacks are final judgements.


By contrast, students with growth mindsets are more likely to take learning as a challenge. They see setbacks as a natural (and even helpful) part of learning—which they learn to love, along with the challenges it brings. The research further shows that this mindset can improve learning outcomes, lower stress and anxiety, or even help people with life transitions.


For Carol, creating these growth mindsets calls for a united effort between school settings and family life. Besides using her Yidan Prize project funds to support research on growth mindset cultures in schools, Carol continues to collaborate with leading experts in education and organizations such as OECD to expand the impact of growth mindsets on learning outcomes and student well-being.

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