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Table of Contents
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 134

Which mastery mindset is it?

Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Date of Submission23-Nov-2021
Date of Acceptance15-Dec-2021
Date of Web Publication01-Feb-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Oksana Babenko
Department of Family Medicine, 6–10 University Terrace, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2T4.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/EHP.EHP_34_21

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How to cite this article:
Babenko O. Which mastery mindset is it?. Educ Health Prof 2021;4:134

How to cite this URL:
Babenko O. Which mastery mindset is it?. Educ Health Prof [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Dec 6];4:134. Available from: https://www.ehpjournal.com/text.asp?2021/4/3/134/336974

Dear Editor

The year of 2021 has seen a flurry of publications in health professions journals on the topic of mindsets.[1],[2],[3],[4] These publications provide an overview of mindsets, practical implications, and research directions to better understand the growth mindset for success in competency-based medical education (CBME), which is being implemented around the globe, and in eventual independent clinical practice.[2] While the distinction between the growth and fixed mindsets is a good starting point, goal theory[5] can guide research to deepen our understanding of the CBME’s role in fostering certain types of mindsets in future generations of health professionals.

Goal theorists propose that in achievement-related contexts, individuals develop and are subsequently guided by specific types of mindsets or goals. The basic distinction is: success is about demonstrating competence relative to others (performance goals); and success is about constantly mastering skills irrespective of how others are doing (mastery goals). In contrast to performance, mastery goals are clearly the desired type of goals in medical education and clinical practice.

However, not all mastery goals may be beneficial for long-term career success. In achievement contexts, when individuals focus on mastering just enough skills (“ticking boxes”) to be competent at work, they have developed a mindset of achieving minimal competence. When individuals envision success as constantly gaining new knowledge and skills to be able to solve new problems, they have developed a mindset of lifelong learning. While CBME does aim to foster a mindset of growth and mastery, the next question we, health professions educators and researchers, should be asking is: Which mastery mindset is it?

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Theard MA, Marr MC, Harrison R. The growth mindset for changing medical education culture. EClinical Medicine 2021;37: 100972.  Back to cited text no. 1
Richardson D, Kinnear B, Hauer K, Turner TL, Warm EJ, Hall AK, et al. Growth mindset in competency-based medical education. Med Teach2021;43:751–7.  Back to cited text no. 2
Wolcott MD, McLaughlin JE, Hann A, Miklavec A, Beck Dallaghan GL, Rhoney DH, et al. A review to characterise and map the growth mindset theory in health professions education. Med Educ 2021;55:430–40.  Back to cited text no. 3
Williams CA, Lewis L. Mindsets in health professions education: A scoping review. Nurse Educ Today 2021;100:104863.  Back to cited text no. 4
Elliot AJ, Hulleman CS. Achievement goals. In: Elliot AJ, Dweck CS, Yeager DS, editors. Handbook of Competence and Motivation: Theory and Application. New York, NY: The Guilford Press; 2017. p. 43–60.  Back to cited text no. 5


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