Excerpt #2 From Teaching The Entrepreneurial Mindset | Stephen Carter | 10 Min Read

September 13, 2023

Publication is scheduled for early October 2023. For updates on the publication of this book, click here. This is the second of two excerpts from Stephen’s new book. The first excerpt is here.

Carol Dweck is the leading expert on growth mindset and her 2006 book detailing “The New Psychology of Success” around mindset has not only shaped and redefined how we teach but also how we understand the nature of education altogether. She defines the concept in the following manner: “In 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.” This love of learning and resilience is key to understanding the benefits of this way of thinking. Collectively, we are all born into a growth mindset. It is inherent in young children to strive for growth and to work as hard as possible to achieve this growth. Imagine the child, trying to crawl for the first time and, finding it difficult, giving up and never attempting again. Imagine that child proclaiming herself to be a failure and simply accepting the inability to grow. It’s a preposterous concept. We push ourselves to crawl and then to walk and eventually run. We embrace our inherent growth mindset as we learn to think and then to speak and then to write. At any point, it would have made sense to give up because of the difficulty in learning these skills, but we persevered because of an inherent drive and belief in our ability.

The fact that we innately have an early growth mindset full of possibilities makes it all the more frustrating that, almost universally, we slip into a fixed mindset. When operating in a fixed mindset, Dweck explains, “people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, which are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.” Maybe it is junior high when we face difficulties in new academic matters and start to doubt our abilities. Perhaps it is in upper elementary school when we develop slower than other students and question our athletic prowess. Or even in lower elementary when we notice other students…

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is the Director of Entrepreneurship and Sustainability at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy where he has taught for 17 years. His forthcoming book, Teaching the Entrepreneurial Mindset, chronicles the ten-year journey of the entrepreneurship program and his own experience in learning to think like an entrepreneur. He is available for speaking and consulting and can be reached at [email protected].