The growth mindset is also the learning mindset


In my previous post, I discussed the 5 Dimensions of the Growth Mindset and suggested that the concept is not binary but a continuum over five different Dimensions. It means that you can be growth, fixed or a combination of both along five different planes, and together they form your collective growth mindset profile. This further suggests that we are not ALL fixed or growth; and also we are not ALL both! Current literature also seems to suggest that the growth mindset is good and the fixed mindset is bad, a mindset that our research refutes. In fact, your mindset tendencies are dependent on your immediate past, your professional and personal requirements, and your knowledge and experience. In this, and the following 4 posts, I shall uncover each of the 5 Dimensions a little more, and to help you see the complex beauty of the growth mindset.


The Learning Dimension

To recap, the 5 Dimensions of the Growth Mindset (5DGM) are Learning, Bounce Back, Risk Taking, Forward and Pride. These 5 Dimensions work inter-connectedly with one another, making the concept of the growth mindset a complex one. Let's focus our discussion today on the Learning Dimension.


Growth comes from uncovering what we don't know, and integrating that into what we do. According to Bloom's Taxonomy, the stages of learning are (starting from the base of the pyramid):



Hence the first stage of learning is uncovering new knowledge. This can come from formal learning, like attending a class or a certification course, or it can come informally by reading a book or watching a documentary.


The second stage is comprehension, meaning that you need to understand what the new knowledge is and the context within which that new knowledge is framed. At this stage of learning, we ask ourselves, "How does this knowledge change my world view? What does this mean to my current thinking?"


The third stage is application and that obviously happens when you have stretched your new knowledge, and found ways to apply them. It is helpful to keep the time gap between comprehension and application as short as possible, so as not to lose learning momentum.


The fourth stage is analysis, and here we look at what happened as we had applied the new knowledge acquired. Did it turn out well? Is there a gap in my understanding? Did I hypothesise wrongly? Were my assumptions right? Which assumptions need to be reassessed?


The fifth stage, synthesis, is where we integrate the new knowledge and applications to current ones, creating a new normal. We are usually cautious in doing this because it tends to shake the status quo, and we don't want to go changing processes and behaviour on a whim. Yet, when new knowledge has progressed thus far in the learning process, it would be time to synthesise that with current knowledge, and watch the sparks (or the lack thereof) fly.


The final stage is evaluation, and here is where we assess how the new knowledge fits in with the old, how the new concept forms a larger picture, and makes the old status quo much clearer.