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"Not Yet" mindset: Increasing motivation and perseverance
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"Not Yet" mindset: Increasing motivation and perseverance

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a TED talk by Dr. Carol Dweck on the "power of not yet." She describes that a "not yet" mindset encourages students to approach novel and complex tasks with enthusiasm and grit. Her research was inspired by a high school in Chicago that was giving out scores of "not yet" to students who had not passed a course. A "not yet" score implies there is a learning curve and the person just has not reached it yet, rather than the negative connotations of a fail such as "I'm nothing. I'm nowhere." 

In Dweck's early research, she observed that when 10 year old students were given problems that were slightly too hard for them, those who reacted positively made statements such as "I love a challenge," or "I was hoping this would be informative." Those children understood that their "abilities could be developed," stayed engaged, and hence had a growth mindset. Such children process errors, learn from it, and correct it. Students who feel negatively--that it's tragic, catastrophic, their intelligence is up for judgment & they have failed, disengage.

She advises parents and teachers (1) to praise students for their efforts, strategies, focus, and perseverance rather than intelligence or talent. She describes that when her and scientists from the University of Washington teamed up to create a new online math game that rewarded effort, strategy, and progress rather than the typical game that rewards only the right answer, they got more effort, perseverance, engagement over longer periods of time, and strategies, on really difficult problems. Second, she advises (2)  that just utilizing words "yet" or "not yet," give students a confidence booth and increases persistence.  

To watch or read the TED Talk this is the link:

30 Comments to "Not Yet" mindset: Increasing motivation and perseverance :

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resumewritinggroup reviews on Thursday, July 05, 2018 12:57 AM
I agree, parents and teachers should praise their students for the effort they put in to have a better result. Meeting the expectations of the parents or the students is also pressuring them to do anything they could just to satisfy others. Through simple praises, they could have the mindset of working hard and excel in everything in their own will. It can also depend on the other people the motivation and perseverance of an individual. Not yet also implying that you are almost there, just a little more and you will reach your goal.

livecareer com on Monday, January 14, 2019 9:24 AM
As parents and teachers, it is really a good way of improving a child by showing him or her that you appreciate all the efforts that he or she has done. Giving praises seems like nothing, but as a kid, it is everything. When I was young, I did everything to please my parents because it made me feel good about myself. Every time they see my effort, I was happy. It kept me going through the years, until now, I still want them to be proud of me.

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Reply to comment on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 11:28 PM
Your study will truly help a lot of people, especially the young ones to be prepared mentally on the pressure of adulthood. This is a great article, this will surely help in boosting or keeping the confidence of a person. This study should be applied to the teens because they need it the most. This is the point of age that we are emotionally and mentally unbalanced. Unlike adults, these teens can't handle their emotions properly and they can be easily moved.
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Having the mindset of "not yet" is also having the value of patience. It is putting your trust into something and waiting for that something to come through. May it be a grade in a subject or something that you've been wanting to get in a long time, but you planned for the best moment to have it. We all know how rough the start is, not all of us has the capability to push on farther in a short amount of time. That is why we need to have patience and think that "not yet' is something that is yet to happen.
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