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Stanford University

Memo to educators: Intelligence isn't fixed

Memo to educators: Intelligence isn't fixed

Is intelligence fixed or changeable? Is it a quality you can develop like strong muscles, or one you were born with, like eye color or sexual orientation? This is not merely an ivory tower question: It is key to how schools work and whether making them work better is worth the effort. Of course, as Stanford University Psychology Professor Carol Dweck writes in "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success," the truth about intelligence lies in between. Some people are born with more capacity to develop than others. Some have more advantaged upbringings. Yet a century of psychological research shows that with hard work and good teaching, most students can get smarter. Whether they...