Why Cs actually get degrees

Recently, I was listening to a podcast on NPR about the nudge theory, which states that people can be “nudged” in the right direction indirectly with incentives in a voluntary manner. This led me to a TED Talk done by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck about how the usage of growth mindset teaching styles affects how well kids do in school.
The problem with school systems is that kids feel they are there because it’s required; school is just something that they must do every day.
This continues on through high school, when students are there to get good grades so they can go to a good college and get a good job. In a lot of cases, students aren’t there to expand their intellectual capabilities, they are just looking for an A in the class, something that shows they are smart enough. In the modern world, there is absolutely no passion in learning.
Having a growth mindset means that somebody believes they have the ability to keep improving on an infinite scale. In her talk, Dweck mentions a study she did where “[she] gave ten years olds problems that were slightly too hard for them. Some of them reacted in a shockingly positive way. They said things like ‘I love a challenge’ […] They understood that their abilities could be developed. They had what I call a growth mindset. But, other students felt it was tragic, catastrophic. From their more fixed mindset perspective, their intelligence had been up for judgment, and they failed.”
She continued, “In one study they told us they would probably cheat the next time instead of studying more if they failed a test.” Considering that, the kids who don’t possess a growth mindset aren’t really learning at all and lack creativity in problem-solving.
In the beginning of her talk, Dweck cites an interesting example of how schools promote a growth mindset in their students. She said that one Chicago school gave out the grade “not yet” instead of a failing score.
Dweck said that this encourages a growth mindset because it gives students the idea that there is an opportunity for improvement. Contrastingly, a student who receives a failing grade would feel stuck—likely unsatisfied but also likely to give up entirely, resulting in the fixed mindset Dweck mentioned.
This brings into question students who get average grades: not quite at the A level but not failing, floating around the C range. Using Dweck’s logic, as long as those students are willing to put in the effort, it is obvious that there is room to grow, very similar to the “not yet” grades.
It is students like that who see that there is room to grow, that are great problem solvers and are the ones who go on to make significant changes in the world.
Implementing growth mindset teaching strategies in educational systems may not exactly be tangible nationwide.
However, I think it’s important for each individual to be aware of the benefits this perspective has on personal growth and problemsolving skills.
It’s the kind of people who aren’t afraid to get intellectually creative and challenge themselves who are innovators in the world.

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