#EduRead: Even Genuises Work Hard

This week's article is Even Geniuses Work Hard by Carol Dweck. In this article, Dweck again works with the ideas of fixed vs growth mindsets, which many of us are familiar with due to her book, Mindset.


  • "Research has shown that praising students for the process they have engaged in—the effort they applied, the strategies they used, the choices they made, the persistence they displayed, and so on—yields more long-term benefits than telling them they are "smart" when they succeed."
  • "Students who take longer sometimes understand things at a deeper level."
  • "It is crucial that no student be able to coast to success time after time; this experience can create the fixed-mindset belief that you are smart only if you can succeed without effort.
  • "When presenting learning tasks to students, the teacher should portray challenges as fun and exciting, while portraying easy tasks as boring and less useful for the brain. "
  • "When students initially struggle or make mistakes, the teacher should view this as an opportunity to teach students how to try different strategies if the first ones don't work—how to step back and think about what to try next, like a detective solving a mystery."
My Thoughts
  • It's humbling how much our students' mindset can depend on our choice of words.
  • Pointing out the use of the mathematical practices seems like a great way to praise process.
  • My mentor emphasized "individual think time" where students try something on their own before any collaboration. I do this by asking kids to "stare at the paper" for 1 minute (using my timer of course) I don't let them talk until the timer goes off. This can help students focus on deeper thinking over time.
  • What ways can we show progress/improvement in student work other than pre/post tests?
  • I like the phrase "grade for growth". How can I apply that?


  1. Great Article- thanks for sharing! I also like the phrase "grade for growth", and am starting year two of my version of SBG. I tried to include a question on each assessment that students really hadn't seen but could persevere and complete if they applied what they understood about the concept.

    Last year we spent so much valuable time examine mistakes and misconceptions- constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others!

    1. That's a great idea Nicole.

      I wonder what other ways we could grade for growth?