6 June 2016 — Growth Mindset


By Club consensus during a 10 January 2016 planning session, the “poll” at the bottom of the Program page has been removed. Members are asked to post a comment each week. If you don’t have something interesting to say–although with our members we know what you have to say is interesting–feel free to say “Present” or “Here” or “Yaba Daba Doo” or write your favorite color, just let us know you were here.


SUNDAY, JUNE 26 — 12:30pm to 2:00pmOur FOURTH SUNDAY meeting for June! Speaker: Tommy Gelinas, founder and curator of Valley Relics Museum.  We gather in The Fireplace Room at Denny’s, 5525 Sepulveda Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. (Meeting reminders: Inspiration, Jorge; Pledge, Judy; Four-Way Test, Brenda; Rotary Minute, Linda C.)  BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING that morning at 11:00.


We have launched our Clunkers4Charity fundraiser! If you know of anyone (yourself included) who wants or needs to donate a car for tax purposes, send them to our website…and to the Clunkers4Charity “Link” you see at the right side of this page. Funds we raise will go right into the community for our projects.










This month’s First Monday Program is provided by Club Member Daniele Delle Gala.


“I don’t get it.”

“I can’t do this.”

“This doesn’t work.”

We have all been there…facing a challenge at home, at school, or in the workplace where the outcome seems dreary, unlikely, or impossible. What is the catalyst for change when things start to look up? When the situation takes a turn for the better and an improvement, solution, or evidence of growth occurs, what actually happens?

According to a good deal of research, your brain actually “grows” when you make a mistake and try different pathways or methods to reach a solution. Motivation, collaboration, and perseverance all have their place in the process. Collaboration can help individuals to maintain focus, think about problems in different ways, and engage in conversations that create more connections. Having a growth mindset can increase achievement and deepen learning in different settings and situations.

The addition of a short, three-letter word can put one on the pathway to success. “I don’t get it…yet” can inspire greater perseverance. “I can’t do this…yet” can encourage the help of another person with ideas and connections that help solve the problem. “This doesn’t work…yet” may lead one to try something very different which ultimately leads to a solution.

Carol Dweck, a Lewis and Virginia Easton Professor of Psychology, and, by courtesy, at the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, emphasizes the power of “yet” in her presentation “Developing a Growth Mindset” (9:37). Dweck is an expert in the field of motivation and has presented her findings to business, education, and sports groups all over the world. Her research has focused on why people succeed and how to foster success.

If the embedded video does not work, please click here to view it on YouTube.

Nigel Holmes created graphics based on the research of Carol Dweck to summarize the two mindsets: Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset. http://www.megsonline.net/lee_meg3.pdf

Learning why mistakes can help “grow your brain” proved to be very powerful for my own students. The importance of what some call the “productive struggle” during challenging tasks where students have to persevere and work through setbacks cannot be emphasized enough. When students of any age reflect on their mistakes and begin to see them as opportunities for growth, they can accomplish greater things.

A growth mindset is not just about effort. As a student of any age who is working to deepen understanding, he or she has to try new strategies and methods and interact with others. Interaction with other individuals coupled with feedback from both peers and teachers or mentors can help a student to improve and learn.

Individuals who have a growth mindset can improve and work toward achieving both short-term and long-terms goals. When they experience setbacks or feel stuck, acknowledgement of effort and expressed appreciation for work up to that point can lead to increased motivation to push forward.

“Neuroplasticity” by Sentis (2:03) offers a visual introduction to the concept of how the brain can be rewired as we learn and think differently.

Direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELpfYCZa87g

Check out the article “You Can Grow Your Intelligence” at http://www.mindsetworks.com/websitemedia/youcangrowyourintelligence.pdf to learn about how the brain can be developed like a muscle. This article sparked deeper conversations between students from elementary schools through college.

Jo Boaler, a Professor of Math Education at Stanford University, explores “How to Learn Math: Four Key Messages” (8:35) in a video she created with some of her students.

Direct link: https://youtu.be/bxrPy1fjVU4

“Brain Jump with Ned the Neuron: Challenges Grow Your Brain” (1:51) is a fun animated video that introduces children to the idea that challenges can grow and strengthen the brain.

Direct link: https://youtu.be/g7FdMi03CzI


The opinions expressed by guest speakers, or in advertisements that appear on external websites linked to this program, are those of the speaker(s) / websites / advertisers and not necessarily of the Rotary E-Club of The Greater San Fernando Valley or its members. No endorsement is implied. Programs are presented for informational purposes only.


12 responses to 6 June 2016 — Growth Mindset

  1. Thank you, Daniele! This is a fascinating program.

    Is it just me, or is there a theme to the programs this month?

  2. I couldn’t get the Brain Jump video to work, even on YouTube, but enjoyed the other videos. I use the “not yet” quote in my art and piano teaching practice. Nice to know someone else knows about it. Thanks for the program, Daniele.

  3. Great program this week. Good reminder in Carol Dweck’s video message. Thanks Mel, for posting these videos.

    • Happy to be the poster, but big thanks to Daniele Della Gala for curating this week’s program. I’m just the Cut-and-Paster-in-Chief….

  4. Thanks. Great information presented in such upbeat an manner. Very informative. Thanks, Daniele

  5. Thanks, Daniele, for a very interesting program. I could have used the “not yet” approach when I was struggling with all those math courses in college. It’s great to see the advances in knowledge of how the brain works and adapts.

  6. The “not yet” approach is so important when learning something new. Thank you Danile for bringing this topic and all the videos to our attention.

  7. Since we are in the final week of school, I asked my third graders to compose a letter to next year’s incoming class. They had to describe what the students should look forward to and include tips on how to be a successful student not only in Ms. Della Gala’s classroom but throughout their educational careers. I was pleasantly surprised at how many students mentioned Growth Mindset either directly or touched on the importance of being able to learn from one’s mistakes. Their ability to reflect upon their struggles and note how far they had come was a further reminder of how much I love my job.

  8. Really enjoyed the information. Love brain research and the “not yet” approach can be applied to all aspects of our lives. I’m going to share this with my staff at school as well as my 21-year-old son! Thanks Daniele!

  9. Unlike Linda, I got the brain jump video to work. But i am not sure just how willing my brain was to actually jump.

  10. Thank you, Daniele, for a wonderful and informative program!!

  11. What a fabulous program Daniele!!! Thank you for teaching us about the power of “yet”. What a pleasure it must be to be a student in your class, one can hope there are other teachers out there with such passion…

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