‘Mindset’ Author to Speak Tuesday at Annual Ridley Lecture

Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of student motivation, will speak Tuesday at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education on “Mindsets: Helping Students Fulfill Their Potential.”

The lecture, sponsored by the Curry School and the Ridley Scholarship Fund, will begin at 4 p.m. in Holloway Hall in Bavaro Hall. Regsitration for the event is closed, but the lecture can be viewed online here (see channel 034).

Dweck, Lewis & Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford, researches the critical role of mindsets in students’ achievement, and argues that praise for intelligence or talent can undermine motivation and learning.

Her lecture will discuss her recent book, “Mindset,” which has been widely acclaimed and translated into 20 languages. She will compare the differences between a “fixed mindset” and a “growth mindset.”

A fixed mindset is when people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits and that talent alone creates success, without effort.

On the other hand, in a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work; brains and talent are just the starting point. Dweck claims that virtually all great people have had these qualities.

This annual lecture honors the legacy of Walter Ridley, the first African-American to graduate from U.Va. with a doctorate in education from the Curry School.

A native Virginian and a respected, accomplished academic at one of Virginia's oldest public institutions of higher education (Virginia State College in Petersburg), Ridley was admitted to U.Va. three years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that ordered desegregation of public schools. Ridley became the University's first black graduate in June 1953, and the first African-American to receive a doctorate degree from a white Southern university.

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