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STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects can be a challenge for students, however, as educators and parents we can help prepare our students for these challenges by equipping them with a growth mindset. This specific mindset encourages students to problem solve, overcome failure and develop a deep love for learning new concepts—which are all critical for STEM education success. Before we can teach kids about a growth mindset, we must first understand the term.
The concept of growth mindset was first developed by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck who explains that, “With a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Students who embrace growth mindsets—the belief that they can learn more or become smarter if they work hard and persevere—may learn more, learn it more quickly, and view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve their learning and skills.”
There is a persevering idea that if you are not innately good at STEM subjects, or do not fit the mold of what society thinks an engineer or scientist should be, then a career in STEM isn’t for you. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Now, more than ever, STEM fields needs individuals that are willing to break the mold and think outside of the box. As technology continues to grow and transform society, STEM fields need people that truly embody a growth mindset.
Engineers and other STEM professionals play a vital role in society—we need to encourage today’s students to be tomorrow’s STEM leaders.
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