Growth mindset in a change of vocational education in Finland

To have a growth mindset people need the belief in change. Vocational education in Finland is under big changes at the moment. People involved with vocational education are forced and invited to a change. People with growth mindset find success in learning and improving. The more they can do that the more rewarding the change will be for them and people around them

People with growth mindsets will lead Finnish vocational education trough
the reform that it´s about to go trough.

But not all people have growth mindset and they are against the change. Opposite of growth mindset is called fixed mindset. People with fixed mindset think the world needs change, not them. The fixed mindset creates an internal monologue that is based on judging. ”I think I´m a loser, I think I´m better than anybody else, I know my subject that I´m teaching, I´m the best in what I do…” People with fixed mindset deal with the information they are receiving. They put very strong evaluation on each and every piece of information. A good feedback leads to very strong positive label and bad feedback leads to very negative label.


People with growth mindset monitor also constantly what´s going on, but their internal monologue is not about judging. Instead they try to find answers to questions What can I learn from this, How can I improve, How can I help my colleague do to better?

Helping others to do better, to find out the best of each other is one key for a change in Finnish vocational education. We need people who believe in change, who believe in reform. We need people who want to learn out of the process and become better, stronger and cleaver after it.

To change a fixed mindset is gental work. Fixed mindset wants to leave gracefully. It will remind the people with very strong opinions ”You are nothing, you are fool…” By believing each other, by good feedback, by finding the best out of everyone and under trust and respect the fixed mindset has no power to stay. Fixed mindset might think they are not themselves if they change. They might think they`ll lose their professional skills if they change. They might think fixed mindset have them the ambition, the edge, their individualist. They might be afraid they´ll become a bland cog in the wheel just like everybody else. Ordinary. Or they might be afraid their knowledge will be revealed.


The truth is, when a person with fixed mindset opens themselves up to a growth
makes  that them more themselves and they can be people in the full flower of
their individualist and potency. Knowledge of the teachers will be revealed, but it means there are no longer teachers who are specialists of subjects, there are people who want to find the right answers with their co-workers, co-workers that are called students so far.

Reform in Finnish vocational education offers us solid ground that can lead to big changes in the educational level and peoples perspective. It can change us as association and a nation.

Written by Annele Heikkilä
Based on Carol S. Dwecks book Mindset, changing the way you think to fullfil
your potential, 2017.

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