By Michael K. Smith, Ph.D.
Alfred Binet, the inventor of the modern intelligence test in 1905, felt that his instrument should be used to identify children who needed help to succeed in school. In his book, Modern Ideas About Children, he summarized this philosophy: “A few modern philosophers…assert that an individual’s intelligence is a fixed quantity, a quantity which cannot be increased. We must protest and react against this brutal pessimism…With practice, training, and above all, method, we manage to increase our attention, our memory, our judgment and literally to become more intelligent than we were before.” The modern psychologist Carol Dweck, in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, characterized Binet’s dichotomy as a “fixed mindset” versus a “growth mindset.” An examination of these two approaches to learning can help parents and teachers as this new school year starts. Read more →