fixed mindset

A student with a fixed mindset believes that their intelligence is set. They will usually make comments such as:

"Either I'm good at it or not"

"This maths is boring and no matter what I do I wont be able to succeed in it."

"It's easy for him or her as they were born with a Maths brain"

growth mindset

A student with a Growth Mindset believes that skills and intellect can be developed through effort and perseverance. They will usually make comments such as:

" I want to learn new things. "

"My mistakes in Maths help me learn."

"With effort and practise I can improve."


"Over 30 years ago, Carol Dweck (a psychology professor and researcher) and her colleagues became interested in students' attitudes about failure. They noticed that some students rebounded while other students seemed devastated by even the smallest setbacks. After studying the behaviour of thousands of children, Dr. Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. Therefore they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement."

Information and graph sourced from