Do We Get More Intelligent, or Just Gain More Knowledge?

Heather Landers talks about two different mindsets, growth and fixed. Carol Dweck’s explanation of these two mindsets is better than what I can summarize it so here is an excerpt:

“Students with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence and talent are innate…Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that intelligence and talent must be cultivated overtime…”

Landers argues that the growth mindset is more helpful for students and instructors should teach to help students develop this thought process.

Fixed-Growth mind.PNG

I discussed about this topic with a couple of my peers. After talking with them, I think I lean more towards a fixed mindset. I agree mostly with the fixed mindset because I firmly believe that people are born with a certain affinity towards something, a talent. This can range from the ability to retain information longer, to the athletic ability to learn new sports with ease. My friend explained it as intuition, which is defined as ,”immediate apprehension or cognition” on Merriam-Webster.

To me, when I read about the growth mindset, it sounded like as long as everyone tries hard they will be able to reach the same level. We can try harder to become better at something. I just believe that the innate talent that people are born with determines the amount of time they need to spend in order to master something. I think we have a fixed talent that cannot be changed, because I perceive myself to be a slow learner compared to most people. I could barely read in first grade despite the fact that my peers were reading something like  The Magic Tree House. I understood that it took more time for me to absorb something than most of my peers, therefore, had to spend more time in order to reach the average level. Even today, I still spend a decent amount of time learning alone so that I do not fall behind in my studies.

To summarize, I believe that people can grow, but it will be at varying paces and the talent or intelligence that you are born with will determine how  much you can learn over the course of your lifetime. It’s not a very good argument, but based off of the definition of fixed and growth mindset, I would say that a mix of both is where I stand…I can never give a black or white type of answer for these kinds of questions.

Heather Landers Fixed/Growth Mindset


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