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Evanston Township High School will host “Go For It: Risk-Taking, Challenge, and the Value of a Growth Mindset” with world-renowned motivational psychologist Carol Dweck, Ph.D. on Friday, May 9 at 7:00pm in the school auditorium. Presented in partnership with the Family Action Network (FAN), the event is free and open to the public.

Dweck’s work examining learning, motivation, success, failure and resilience has impacted parents, educators, athletes, coaches, corporate executives and others vested in high achievement. Dweck explains in her 2008 Scientific American Mind article that “Our society worships talent, and many people assume that possessing superior intelligence or ability – along with confidence in that ability – is a recipe for success. In fact, however, more than 30 years of scientific investigation suggest that an overemphasis on intellect or talent leaves people vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and unwilling to remedy their shortcomings.” Her research concludes that we produce confident learners when we praise students for the process they engage in, not when we tell them they’re smart or talented. The elements of success – effort, persistence, determination, hard work, enthusiasm, and discipline, to name a few – are hallmarks of growth mindsets, and will be invaluable as a student progresses through her education and the world of work.

Dweck is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and the author of Mindset. For Dr. Dweck, people’s self-theories about intelligence have a profound influence on their motivation to learn. A person with a “growth” mindset believes that intelligence can be developed, which fuels a desire to learn, and consequently a leaning to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from criticism, and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others. By contrast, a person with a “fixed” mindset believes that intelligence is static. This leads to a desire to look smart, and therefore a tendency to avoid challenges, give-up easily, see effort as fruitless or worse, ignore useful negative feedback, and feel threatened by the success of others. Students with a fixed mindset may plateau early and achieve less than their full potential, but those with a growth mindset reach ever-higher levels of achievement, including higher test scores and higher grades.

A book signing for Dr. Dweck’s book, Mindset, will be held at the end of the event. CPDUs available for education professionals.

ETHS is located at 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston, 60201. The auditorium is wheelchair accessible. Parking is recommended in the lot across from the main entrance, off of Dodge Avenue. Parking is also available along Dodge Avenue according to posted City of Evanston signs.

Free and open to the public. For more information about FAN events and sponsors for the 2013-14 presentations, visit www.familyactionnetwork.net.

The May 9 presentation is sponsored by Family Action Network (FAN), Evanston Township High School D202, and Evanston/Skokie D65, in partnership with the Alliance for Early Childhood, Chiaravalle Montessori School, Design for America, the Glenview Education Foundation, the Golden Apple Foundation, Highcrest Middle School, Kenilworth D38, KIPP Chicago Schools, Moneythink, the Music Institute of Chicago, Niles Township High School D219, Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy, ReDefined Fitness, Wilmette Junior High School, and Youth Organizations Umbrella (Y.O.U.).