Does "prestigious" always mean "better"?

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Does "prestigious" always mean "better"?

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I believe strongly that all parents should want the best for their children and have high expectations for them. But, in a fixed mind set, a parent wanting the best is perfection - the best private school, the highest tests scores, only Harvard, Yale or Stanford. In a growth mind set, the parent understands that they are there to help the child fulfill their potential, discover and develop their interests and that's what they do. They support the growth of the child's skills. They want a program that matches the child, not something that has prestige in their friends' eyes. There are many, many schools in the country that are wonderful and help your child find a good match for that and prepare for that. If you ask for perfection from your child, they will always feel like a failure. In one study we did, those children said they always felt like a failure, they always felt in danger of losing their parents' love. The kids who had more of a growth mind set and parents who foster that who help them learn thought that their parents' high standards were motivating because their parents understood that they learned and developed over time and weren't these perfect beings who never made mistakes.

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Carol Dweck, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Carol S. Dweck, PhD, is a leading researcher in the field of motivation and is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford. Her research focuses on why students succeed and how to foster their success. More specifically, her work has demonstrated the role of mindsets in success and has shown how praise for intelligence can undermine students’ motivation and learning.

She has also held professorships at and Columbia and Harvard Universities, has lectured to education, business, and sports groups all over the world, and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and to the National Academy of Sciences. She recently won the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the highest award in Psychology. 

Her work has been prominently featured in such publications as The New Yorker, Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, and The London Times, with recent feature stories on her work in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post, and she has appeared on such shows as Today, Good Morning America, NPR’s Morning Edition, and 20/20. Her bestselling book Mindset (published by Random House) has been widely acclaimed and has been translated into 20 languages.

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