Based on Carol Dweck's work, a growth mindset indicates an attitude that abilities are not fixed but elastic and that with effort and feedback, skills can be improved, whereas a fixed mindset is underpinned by the belief that skills and abilities are innate and relatively immutable, even with practice, feedback and effort. Mindsets are not overall dispositions, but fluctuate across tasks and time and effective coaching needs to be able to work with both.
The fixed mindset tax refers to the behaviours that prevent a teacher from hearing or engaging with information which suggests they need to change or improve. Effective coaching reduces those behaviours to affect successful change. If you can't stop fixed mindset behaviours, that are designed to deflect critical feedback, you are never going to be able to have a conversation that actually helps solve the problem.
Four Horsemen of fixed mindset
#1: You're right! I suck!
#2: You're wrong! I rule!
#3: Blame it on the rain!
#4: Optimist without a cause!
Watching this week's videos had me in stitches, as I saw myself and nearly everyone I've met in the roleplayed scenarios used to demonstrate each 'horseman'. I actually can't wait to try these techniques.
Images courtesy of Match Education and Coursera.