Pakistan is among those countries facing crises in its education system with its conventional teaching methods and promotion of a fixed mindset that inhibits self-efficacy and motivation among students. When entering higher education, the youngsters have to face some kinds of ‘disappointments’ and may be ‘failures’ at specific stages because of our ideas of working on the ‘traditional norms’ even though our education system should have been updated as the world grows. For a country like Pakistan, education must be a matter of ‘life and death’. As we are observing that many parts of the world are progressing so rapidly and we lag behind others and may be ‘wiped out’ altogether without requisite educational advances.
Our education system has traditionally been characterized by a ‘fixed’ mindset, although efforts have been made to promote a growth mindset in recent years. The impact of a growth mindset on self-efficacy and motivation among youngsters holds significant relevance. Our universities often operate within an educational framework that places heavy emphasis on a fixed mindset, characterized by rote memorization and standardized testing. This ‘traditional’ approach can create a high-pressure environment where motivation for students may suffer. Therefore, exploring effects of a growth mindset on self-efficacy and motivation within the educational context becomes crucial for understanding factors that influence academic performance, persistence, and overall well-being among the students.
Youngsters can develop intellect, increase capacity through hard work, learning
A fixed mindset refers to the belief that intelligence and abilities are fixed traits that cannot be significantly developed or changed. In the context of the education system, this mindset often results in a focus on rote memorization, standardized testing, and a rigid curriculum. The students are encouraged to simply absorb and reproduce information rather than develop critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and creativity. The fixed approach places a heavy emphasis on exam, results and grades, which can create a high-pressure situation for students. The system tends to value conformity and discourage independent thinking and questioning of the authority. As a result, the students may become more focused on achieving good grades rather than understanding the material and developing a passion for learning.
On the other hand, a growth mindset is characterized by the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through effort, learning, and perseverance. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of promoting a growth mindset in local schools. Efforts are being made to shift the focus from ‘memorization’ to more student-centered and inquiry-based learning approaches. In a growth mindset-oriented education system, all the students are encouraged to take risks, embrace challenges, and learn from their mistakes. They are taught to view failures as opportunities for growth and to develop resilience and a love for learning. The emphasis is on nurturing a student’s individual talents, interests, and skills, rather than solely measuring their academic performance through standardized tests.
There are positive signs of change, as the fixed mindset approach still dominates the education system. Some educators and schools are adopting more progressive teaching methods, such as project-based learning, critical thinking exercises, and promoting creativity. There is a greater recognition of the importance of holistic education that encompasses not just academic achievement but also development of social and emotional skills. Promoting a growth mindset among university students becomes imperative to help them overcome these challenges and unlock their full potential. By instilling the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through effort and learning, students can develop a stronger sense of self-efficacy. This belief in their capacity to grow and improve can enhance their confidence in setting challenging goals, persisting in the face of obstacles, and embracing the learning process.
Furthermore, fostering a growth mindset can reignite students’ intrinsic motivation, encouraging them to engage actively in their studies, seek out new knowledge, and cultivate a genuine passion for learning. Overall, a growth mindset positively impacts motivation by fostering belief in one’s ability to improve, intrinsic motivation to learn, resilience in the face of challenges, and a willingness to put in effort and persist. By cultivating a growth mindset, individuals are more likely to approach learning and life with a positive attitude, embrace continuous improvement, and reach their full potential.