Mindsets can be taught; they’re malleable.

Now that we’ve kicked off our final four classes of 2015, we wanted to share one of the philosophies that runs throughout our courses: the growth mindset. At the start of each class we have all of our students read this excellent article from Khan Academy founder, Salman Khan, which lays down several of the key tenets of developing a growth mindset.

The brain is like a muscle; the more you use it, the more it grows.

Researchers found that people adhere to one of two mindsets: fixed or growth. Those with fixed mindsets (mistakenly) believe that people are either smart or not, and that intelligence is dictated by genes. But people with growth mindsets believe that intelligence can be grown through struggle, effort, and failure.

Our intelligence is not fixed, and the best way that we can grow our intelligence is to embrace tasks where we might struggle and fail. 

People come to Epicodus with a wide range of experience in and natural aptitude for programming. The most successful students, however, are the ones that embrace the growth mindset and know that when they struggle, their learning capacity grows. Our teachers at Epicodus help all our students develop a growth mindset, and encourage students to help their peers develop growth mindsets as well.