Make challenge the new comfort zone


  • Getting lots of easy problems right should not be a cause for celebration.
  • "Easy" means that you're not learning as much as you could.
  • We want students to ask for more challenging work.
  • Math teachers: To see similar videos specific to growth mindset in math class, sign up for Professor Jo Boaler’s course, How to Learn Math, and check out

What's the Problem with Easy?

Carol Dweck: I think we've made a huge mistake in our child-rearing practices, in our educational system. We tell kids they should feel good when things were easy for them and they got everything right. That's a cause for celebration. Not in my book. In my book, it means you're not learning as much as you could. If it was easy, well, you probably already knew how to do it.

We should make kids feel cheated if the work is too easy for them, or if the teachers gloss over their errors and don't give them good feedback. We should have kids asking for harder work, wanting the challenging problems. I want challenge to become the new comfort zone, not easy being the comfort zone.

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