Anna Leahy

Director of MFA in Creative Writing , Chapman University, Orange, CA

Anna Leahy directs the MFA in Creative Writing programme at Chapman University in Orange, California. She is the author of the nonfiction book Tumor (2017) and the poetry collection Aperture (2017), among others. See more at

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The growth mindset problem

Anna Leahy

I appreciate your contribution to this ongoing conversation. I’ve written about the misunderstandings and misapplications of “the growth mindset” concept as well, in the context of teaching creative writing at the college level. I’m interested both in connections with intelligence (as you are) and with self-esteem, which both seem to be misunderstood or slippery concepts as well.

A couple of years ago, Carol Dweck herself agrred with your statement that “Clearly, something has gone wrong somewhere along the way between the laboratory and the classroom.” Dweck identified problems in how her research had been applied, particularly in K-12 education–she called what had happened “false...

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