Growth Mindset in Adults

My journey is to discover what perpetuates a growth mindset in adults. If you are asking why, it is because I believe every individual should get the opportunity to pursue their own journey of transformation towards self-actualization. The concept of self-actualization is not nirvana. In fact, it can be downright annoying as our self-awareness increases.

However, it is through this developing self-actualization where our communication improves … our decisions are grounded and articulated … our critical thinking capacity expands … the world is bigger than ourselves, and we can contribute for a stronger society.

As our society has improved nutritionally and educationally, we have also become more impulsive, depressed, and anxious since World War II. Cognition has become a much valued commodity, but less valued affect has created a dissonance that Carl Rogers referred to as “education from the neck up” and leaves us with negative social consequences. It is my belief that the balance of cognitive and affect is necessary to develop a growth mindset and experience a journey of transformation towards self-actualization.

Dissertation Poster

Based on my research, my first action is to develop a rubric of whole-person learning that faculty can apply to learning experiences on a consistent basis. The intention is to operationalize the rubric by:

  1. Training trainers, instructors, and facilitators on the skillset of applying affective learning; and
  2. Coaching these same individuals for transitioning their learners across the affective domain levels.

The next important step that is being done simultaneously is to create a mindset instrument focused on the adult learner. The intention is to assist those who use the whole-person rubric for personalizing the learning experience based on the awareness that the instrument would provide. The plan is that the instrument provides a diagnostic result with an interpretation.

The constructs developed to date are developed to engage the non-traditional adult learner for identifying areas important to start shifting from a fixed to a growth mindset.

Instrument Constructs (under development)

  • Challenge (avoiding versus embracing)
  • Persistence (being cowed or challenged by setbacks)
  • Mastery (efforts viewed as valueless or efforts viewed as journey)
  • Learning (three sub-constructs)
    • Criticism (dismisses or embraces criticism)
    • Success (insecure or pleased by others’ success)
    • Inspiration (threatened or inspired by others)

If you would like to join my journey, I certainly welcome your insights and contributions in our LinkedIn Group, which is moderated and approval required for membership.

LinkedIn Group: Growth Mindset Instrument for Adult Learners


About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.

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