This excerpt is from an interview of Carol Dweck by Jo Boaler, author of Mathematical Mindsets and several other volumes designed to help teachers work more productively with students in math. I think it speaks to the population I work with in my classroom and that many of us have had experience with as teachers.
“Some people may think that mindsets are just for lower-achieving kids who don't think they're good learners. But we have seen untold numbers of high-achieving kids who are crippled with anxiety that a struggle may mean they're not perfect, not adequate. Less than an A is the end of the world. Not getting into the right school is the end of the world. They are not focused on growth and learning. They are not joyful in their learning. They are not seeing into the future and making themselves that person they want to be. It's just that every A, every test score is the ultimate judgment of who they are and what they're worth. And a growth mindset can help them in conjunction with values and a sense of a larger purpose, can help them out of that place. Because we are stunting the development of many of our most promising students by making them feel that the meaning of their life is wrapped up in the grades and test scores.”
If these ideas interest you, please consider reading Mathematical Mindsets and/or taking the Mathematical Mindset online course.