Without A Growth Mindset, Girls Limit Themselves

Girls Limit Themselves

Many girls who are straight-A students are often discouraged from subjects where they achieve less than an A. As a result, these gifted girls assume that the course content is not for them, so they choose not to push themselves to pursue these subjects further.

Typically these girls are praised and rewarded for their near-perfect or perfect marks, which drives them to achieve perfection rather than to seek a variety of experiences. On the other hand, girls who are always encouraged by parents for their effort—regardless of their academic achievements—develop a sense of freedom in knowing that they can try anything and pursue what interests them the most.

This happened with a friend of mine who was her high school valedictorian and graduated from her university studies with great distinction. She was in the top 4% of her faculty, yet throughout her undergrad years she questioned her intelligence. She achieved mainly B+ in her political science courses and A+ in sociology, and so she decided that she wasn’t smart enough for political science and should change her major to sociology. She told me she wanted to make her parents proud by being the top university student, when all the time she what really wanted to become was an interior designer.

What my friend’s experience shows us is that without a growth mindset, a young woman will convince herself that she should only pursue courses where she gets the best grades, rather than apply herself in subjects that interest and impassion her.

It all comes back to those fascinating, mysterious neural pathways.

Our human potential is great, but it’s a potential that needs to be unleashed. If girls’ brains don’t get the message that they can grow, their brainpower won’t blossom and their potential will be limited.

I’d love to hear from you about your experiences in education. Did you only take courses where you could get the best grades? Or did you look for those that spoke to your real interests? Thank you for sharing. I appreciate your comments.

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