Mindsets in the news

No Such Thing as a Math Person

This piece discusses how gender can influence math anxiety and performance and includes research from Jo Boaler and Andrei Cimpian.

Can Love Close the Achievement Gap?

In this feature, The Atlantic shares the work Ron Ferguson and Boston Basics are doing to support parenting practices that can improve young children’s development and educational outcomes over time.

Can Requiring a Post-Graduation Plan Motivate Students? Chicago Thinks So.

In this article, Mesmin Destin and Greg Walton discuss the importance of providing support and resources to help students strategically plan for college and being aware of students’ perceptions of school programs.

It's Time to Stop the Clock on Math Anxiety: Here's the Latest Research on How

In this piece, Jo Boaler discusses the way that teachers can implement research on how to reduce students’ math anxiety into classroom practices.

New Research Explores Unconscious Bias in the Classroom

A new report featuring research by Tom Dee expands understanding of the role unconscious bias plays in classrooms and discusses programs that are being developed to mitigate its effects.

When School Doesn't Seem Fair, Students May Suffer Lasting Effects

Education Week features new research from David Yeager and Geoff Cohen on the longterm effects of students’ loss of trust for their schools during adolescence.

Why Young Girls Don’t Think They Are Smart Enough

Andrei Cimpian writes about his new study that explores how girls as young as six endorse gender stereotypes about intelligence and how this might influence their behavior.

Text Your Way to College

This article, focused on ‘light-touch’ programs that help students enroll and persist through college, features research by Ben Castleman.

How Praise Became a Consolation Prize

In this interview with The Atlantic, Carol Dweck discusses the nuances of growth mindset and the complexity of how students’ mindsets can be influenced by interactions with parents and teachers.

Nudges That Help Struggling Students Succeed

This article features findings from multiple studies by Mindset Scholars that show how students’ psychological experience of school matters to their academic achievement.

Disadvantaged Students Outnumbered at Top Public Boarding Schools

Education Week discusses research by Mesmin Destin on how subtle cues that low-income students receive can affect their sense of belonging and achievement in unfamiliar educational contexts.

Schools Can Learn to Embrace Students of All Backgrounds, Professor Says

Seattle Times features research by Stephanie Fryberg on the need for schools to encourage a “deeper understanding of the culturally shaped environment we live in and how each of us is shaped by it.”

How Microsoft Uses a Growth Mindset to Develop Leaders

Using Microsoft as an exemplar, Carol Dweck discusses practices that organizations can adopt in order to foster a culture of growth mindset.

Use Successful Schools as Role Model for Inner-City Achievement

In a Room for Debate column on the challenges of school reform, Ron Ferguson discusses how successful schools can serve as models for improving educational outcomes for students attending urban schools.

Can Teenage Defiance Be Manipulated For Good?

New research from David Yeager finds that teenagers make wiser choices if they are encouraged to reimagine healthy behavior as an act of defiance.

Conquering the Freshman Fear of Failure

A look into how online mindset exercises can address first-year college students’ fears of failure, boosting engagement and decreasing dropout rates.

Why Your Diversity Program Might Be Helping Women But Not Minorities (and Vice Versa)

New research by Nicole Stephens explores the different ways diversity programs can affect the behavior of groups and individuals.

Would You Be Happier with a Different Personality?

The Atlantic explores the possibility that adapting your personality can increase happiness, featuring research by David Yeager on the effects of mindset programs teaching adolescents that personality can change.

How to Make Math More Emotionally Engaging for Students

KQED features research by Jo Boaler on harnessing emotions to improve students’ experiences with math.

A Growth Mindset Could Buffer Kids From Negative Academic Effects of Poverty

In an interview with KQED’s Mind/Shift, lead author of the new, population-level growth mindset study in Chile, Susana Claro says: “’Children are capturing messages that are in their environment’… Whether those messages are coming from parents, teachers, the general environment or all of the above is unknown, [but] pinpointing where the messages are coming from and trying to change them could be an important strategy for improving academic achievement. And, the easiest place to start is school.”

A Growth Mindset May Counteract Effects of Poverty on Achievement, Study Says

A new study by Mindset Scholars surveyed all the 10th grade students in Chile to explore relationships between mindsets, academic achievement, and family income.

One Key to Reducing School Suspension: A Little Respect

An EdWeek feature article puts promising new findings from mindset studies by Jason Okonofua and Mindset Scholars Dave Paunesku & Geoffrey Cohen in the context of a broader push to reduce racial disparities in school discipline and encourage teacher practices that cultivate greater trust with students.

A Small Fix in Mind-Set Can Keep Students in School

In two separate studies discussed in the article, research from Mindset Scholars explores the ways that online mindset programs can lead to positive educational outcomes, such as reduced suspension rates and increased college persistence and success.

Preparing Students for College Challenges Reduces Inequality

Mindset Scholars’ research shows the positive effect of preparing students for some of the challenges of college before their transition.

What Young Men of Color Can Teach Us About Achievement Gaps

Ron Ferguson discusses how an important component for reducing achievement gaps is to listen to the experiences of affected students, especially boys and young men of color.

Tech Has More of an Exclusion Problem than a Culture Problem

Carissa Romero spoke on a panel at TechCrunch Disrupt NY, focusing on what can be done to promote diversity and inclusion in tech fields.

Talking About Failure: What Parents Can Do to Motivate Kids in School

A new study by Carol Dweck and colleagues at Stanford University stresses the importance of parents’ responses to failure in shaping children’s mindsets.

Should Grit Be Taught and Tested in School?

Focusing on non-cognitive skills in schools is important, but measures of these skills should not be used to evaluate or compare students, teachers, or schools for low- or high-stakes accountability, say Mindset Scholars Angela Duckworth and David Yeager.

To Reduce Student Suspensions, Teachers Should Try Being More Empathetic

A new study shows a brief intervention that encourages teachers to have a more empathic mindset about their students’ misbehavior, and to focus on sustaining positive relationships with their students especially when they are misbehaving, halved suspension rates among the teachers’ students. The benefits of this one improved student/teacher relationship carried over to affect students’ behavior in other classes, as well.

Scholars: Better Gauges Needed for 'Mindset,' 'Grit'

Researchers discuss the limitations of current measurements of non-cognitive skills such as mindsets. They also explore how students’ perceptions of their abilities can be affected by their environment, making their scores less valid, especially for comparisons across schools.

Grading Schools On Student Resilience And Self-Control

David Yeager was featured on Diane Rehm’s NPR talk show. He and other experts discussed the state of non-cognitive measurements and how they should and should not be used in schools.

Don't Grade Schools on Grit

Angela Duckworth argues that social-emotional skills are unequivocally important and can be cultivated by teaching specific strategies. Providing feedback to students on their development of these skills is equally important. But measures that provide feedback on skills like grit need further development, and should not be attached to low- or high-stakes accountability for teachers or schools.

How to Help First-Generation Students Succeed

How can we help more first-generation students graduate college? This article profiles programs and research on factors that influence college success, including familiarity with the “hidden curriculum” of college, mentorship, diverse faculty representation, and promoting a sense of belonging among students.

My Brilliant (White Male) Professor

A study found students were two to three times more likely to use the words “brilliant” or “genius” to describe male professors as compared to female professors, providing a look at how stereotypes and biases can affect ratings.

Testing for Joy and Grit? Schools Nationwide Push to Measure Students' Emotional Skills

An article covering the current discussion about how to measure non-cognitive skills and whether measures designed for research should be used for school accountability.

Nice Try is Not Enough

Common misconceptions about Carol Dweck’s research on growth mindset have led many parents and teachers to simply praise hard work, but praising effort alone is insufficient to promote a growth mindset and cultivate life-long learners.

What About Measuring Beyond Reading and Math Scores?

An interview with Mindset Scholar Ron Ferguson about achievement gaps in education and the importance of looking beyond standardized test scores.

Study Measures Which Teaching Traits Boost Student Agency, Mindsets

When teachers encourage rigorous thinking—by asking students to understand concepts, rather than merely memorizing facts, or to explain their reasoning—students are more likely to develop greater mastery orientation, put in more effort, exhibit a growth mindset, and hold higher aspirations for the future.

Carol Dweck Revisits the "Growth Mindset"

“False growth mindsets” have spread as the growth mindset concept has grown in popularity. But it’s not enough for educators or parents to claim to hold a growth mindset. And teaching students a growth mindset requires more than simply praising hard work or urging them to hold a growth mindset. It requires telling the truth about their current performance and helping them focus on the process and strategies that lead to learning.

Teachers Nurture Growth Mindset in Math

There is a pervasive belief that math is a fixed trait. However, certain pedagogical styles, such as “open problems” and giving students opportunities to make multiple attempts at problem solving can help foster a growth mindset in students in math classes.

A Key Researcher Says 'Grit' Isn't Ready For High-Stakes Measures

Existing measures of non-cognitive qualities (including learning mindsets) were developed for research purposes and aren’t yet ready to be used for educational purposes, such as accountability.

First-Generation Students Unite

At prestigious universities, first-generation students are uniting to speak up about who they are and what’s needed to facilitate their path to a college degree.

Does the ‘Innate Genius’ Stereotype Widen the STEM Gender Gap?

The perception that “brilliance” is required for success in certain STEM subjects might contribute to the gender gap in those fields.

Small K-12 Interventions Can Be Powerful

For African-American undergraduates, a mindset intervention bolstered their sense of belonging, narrowed the achievement gap in students’ grades by 52 percent, and even improved health outcomes.

The Power of Believing That You Can Improve

There are two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve: Are you not smart enough to solve it… or have you just not solved it yet?

How to Motivate Students to Work Harder

In an era of rising academic standards, more kids than ever will struggle and fail. But research suggests new ways to help them thrive in the face of adversity.

How a Bigger Purpose Can Motivate Students to Learn

When students have a larger purpose in life, they are more likely to stick with learning tasks that are difficult or boring, but essential to getting an education that will help them achieve their larger life goals.