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Richardson – Growth mindset in competency-based medical education

Outcomes/Measurement | Learning ScienceCME ProfessionBehavioral Science | Cognitive Psychology

The ongoing adoption of competency-based medical education (CBME) across health professions training draws focus to learner-centred educational design and the importance of fostering a growth mindset in learners, teachers, and educational programs. An emerging body of literature addresses the instructional practices and features of learning environments that foster the skills and strategies necessary for trainees to be partners in their own learning and progression to competence and to develop skills for lifelong learning. Aligned with this emerging area is an interest in Dweck’s self theory and the concept of the growth mindset. The growth mindset is an implicit belief held by an individual that intelligence and abilities are changeable, rather than fixed and immutable. In this paper, we present an overview of the growth mindset and how it aligns with the goals of CBME. We describe the challenges associated with shifting away from the fixed mindset of most traditional medical education assumptions and practices and discuss potential solutions and strategies at the individual, relational, and systems levels. Finally, we present future directions for research to better understand the growth mindset in the context of CBME.

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