Mindsets in the news

Don't Weed Out Students. Help Them Flourish.

This article describes the body of research indicating that people’s intellect and ability can grow, and provides examples of practices from higher education that draw on and reinforce the research.

Writing to Belong

This article details a study led by Mary Murphy in which the authors found that a brief reading and writing exercise that addressed worries about belonging increased continuous enrollment among Black, Native American, Latinx, and first-generation students at a broad-access university for the following two years. 

Are Math Coaches the Answer to Lagging Achievement?

Featuring findings from a new study by Matthew Kraft, this article discusses the possibilities for mathematics coaching to be implemented at scale, to reduce teachers’ mathematics anxiety, and to improve students’ experience.

Students will go back to school eventually. Here are 5 concrete ideas for helping them catch up, readjust

This article suggests strategies for supporting students when school buildings re-open after closures due to COVID-19, and outlines prior research related to each strategy.

To and through: What research says about what works (and what doesn’t) to help students complete college

This article summarizes what we know from research about the factors that influence postsecondary completion.

The 2020 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings

Multiple Mindset Scholars were included on the 2020 list of most influential education scholars.

By age 6, kids tend to see white men as more ‘brilliant’ than white women

This article summarizes new research by Andrei Cimpian and colleagues on the gendered and racialized narratives surrounding “brilliance” in our society. It features quotes from fellow Student Experience Research Network members Yasmiyn Irizarry and Mary Murphy.

Podcast: Teacher Mindsets and Student Success

On the FutureEd podcast, Mary Murphy discusses how teacher mindsets influence student success with principal Belicia Reaves, kindergarten teacher Lakisha Scarlett, and Lynn Olson and Thomas Toch of FutureEd.

Oakland high schools offered an extra class to support black boys. A new study shows it substantially cut their dropout rate.

This article discusses the results of Thomas Dee’s MSN-funded study on the impact of the African American Male Achievement Initiative, how they compare to related research, and how programs like this one could expand. The article quotes Chris Chatmon, who founded the program.

Culturally Supportive Program for Black Boys Boosts On-Time Graduation Rates

Thomas Dee and Na’ilah Suad Nasir speak with Education Week about Oakland’s African American Male Achievement Initiative, which increased high school graduation rates according to a new study funded by the Student Experience Research Network.

Push for Ethnic Studies in Schools Faces a Dilemma: Whose Stories to Tell

Tom Dee’s research showing that ethnic studies classes helped San Francisco students improve their attendance and grades is cited in this article about the debate surrounding California’s proposed ethnic studies curriculum for K-12 public schools. He is quoted in a follow-up article.

Debate Arises over Teaching “Growth Mindsets” to Motivate Students

This article describes the popularization and implementation of growth mindset research over several years, in light of David Yeager and colleagues’ study in Nature confirming the positive effects of a well-designed growth mindset intervention in a nationally representative sample of U.S. public high schools.

A mindset for success

On the Nature Podcast, David Yeager discusses the results of the National Study of Learning Mindsets.

Major US study shows positive impact of growth mindset

This article summarizes findings from the National Study of Learning Mindsets released in Nature.

New Study Shows Where ‘Growth Mindset’ Training Works (And Where It Doesn’t)

Drawing on interviews with Mindset Scholars Carol Dweck and Dave Paunesku, this article discusses the evolution of growth mindset interventions in light of the findings of the National Study of Learning Mindsets released in Nature.

National Study Bolsters Case for Teaching 'Growth Mindset'

This article summarizes and interprets findings from the National Study of Learning Mindsets released in Nature, and features quotes from Robert Armenta, the principal of one of the schools that participated, and Mayme Hostetter, president of the Relay Graduate School of Education.

A Proof Point for the Value of Growth Mindsets

FutureEd interviews Mindset Scholar David Yeager about findings from the National Study of Learning Mindsets released in Nature.

Building Growth Mindset in the Classroom: Assignments From Carol Dweck

In this article, Carol Dweck describes assignments that can help students build a growth mindset and cites research by Mary Murphy that connects growth mindset-oriented STEM classrooms with more equitable academic outcomes.

The College Dropout Crisis

An analysis by the New York Times and the Urban Institute’s Center on Education Data and Policy shows that postsecondary institutions with similar students often have very different graduation rates, and explores what institutions can do to better support college completion.

Teachers Shape Students' Motivation. Where Do They Learn How to Do It?

The Student Experience Research Network report on how teacher preparation programs are integrating research on the social psychology of motivation is featured in Education Week.

The 2019 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings

Multiple Mindset Scholars included on the 2019 list of most influential education scholars.

The 'All-Time' Most Popular Classroom Q&A Posts

Carol Dweck’s post featured as one of Larry Ferlazzo’s most popular posts.

Response: Ways to Help 'Student-Athletes Achieve Academic and Athletic Success'

Chris Hulleman, Stephanie Wormington, and colleague Miray Seward share their research on how adults can help student-athletes achieve academic and athletic success.

The Value of Peer Teaching

Stephanie Fryberg, Mary Murphy, and their colleagues share thoughts on the value of ‘peer teaching’ and culturally inclusive classrooms.

New Study: More Than 300,000 Children Have ‘Vanished’ From Schools After Local Police Formed Partnerships With ICE

This article cites research by Tom Dee about the influence of partnerships between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and local police on the public-school enrollment of Hispanic students.

Another Case of Vanishing Latino Children

This article cites research by Tom Dee about the influence of partnerships between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and local police on the public-school enrollment of Hispanic students.

Does Teacher Diversity Matter for Student Learning?

Tom Dee’s research on overcoming biases is featured in this article on the importance of teacher diversity.

Having a Growth Mindset Makes It Easier to Develop New Interests

Carol Dweck, Greg Walton, and colleague Paul A. O’Keefe discuss their research on adopting a ‘growth mindset of interest.’

The Start of High School Doesn't Have to be Stressful

In ninth grade, many students are challenged academically and socially. This article explains how teaching students healthy beliefs about change can help ease the transition to high school.

Why So Many Poor Kids Who Get Into College Don't End Up Enrolling

This article describes the phenomenon called ‘summer melt,’ in which students who intend to go to college do not enroll in the fall, and interventions that have been shown to mitigate it.

'Find Your Passion'? That's Bad Advice, Scientists Say

Researchers Carol Dweck and Greg Walton find that students who are open to developing a range of interests with time and effort are more likely to have higher grades and to find their ‘true passions.’

Straight Up Conversation: New Harvard Ed School Dean Bridget Terry Long

In this interview, Bridget Terry Long discusses what she hopes to accomplish as dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

'Find Your Passion' Is Awful Advice

A study by Carol Dweck and Greg Walton finds that passions are not ‘found,’ but rather cultivated over time.

Help Students Navigate Life's Transitions with a Mindset GPS

Chris Hulleman and Larry Happel share the story of a college student named Jaime and explain how psychological mindsets helped him perservere through financial, social, and other systemic obstacles.

Harvard Education School Taps Former Head of Federal Education Research Board as New Dean

Education economist and Mindset Scholar Bridget Terry Long is appointed dean of Harvard University’s graduate school of education.

Here’s an Approach to Math Phobia That Could Add Up: Tackle the Fear Head On

This article provides a look at a research-practice partnership between Chris Hulleman and a high school math teacher in action.

'When Are We Going to Use This?' Strategies to Help Students Find Relevance in School Work

In this piece, Chris Hulleman, director of the Motivate Lab at University of Virginia, shares strategies and tools for teachers to help students find meaning and relevance in their schoolwork.

Students Make a Prosthetic Leg for a Duck, Showing the Value of Purpose in Learning

The value of purpose in learning: Middle school students in Arkansas work together to solve a real-world problem by using 3D printing to design a prosthetic leg for an injured duck.

Response: Using Questions That 'Position Students as Meaning Makers'

Sidney D’Mello shares thoughts on how teachers can help students make meaning from their academic work by providing both challenges and support.

Peer-to-Peer Networks Increase College Attainment

Rob Crosnoe shares research on how peer networks can positively influence school culture.

If You Feel Like Everyone Has More Friends Than You, You're Not Alone

This article shares research by Greg Walton on how to normalize fears about not belonging and being left out.

The Subtle Ways Colleges Discriminate Against Poor Students, Explained with a Cartoon

Mindset Scholar Nicole Stephen’s research is featured in this article on how a mismatch between students’ motives for learning and higher education learning environments may influence students’ experiences and academic outcomes.

Don't Suspend Students. Empathize.

This article explores the promising effects of interventions that promote more empathetic methods of school discipline.

Can Ethnic Studies Courses Help Students Succeed in School? Evidence From San Francisco

This article summarizes findings from a recent student by Tom Dee. His research finds that participating in an ethnic studies course improved students’ academic performance and reduced likelihood of dropping out.

To Err is Human – and a Powerful Prelude to Learning

Research by Carol Dweck is featured in this piece on the role mistakes play in the learning process.

Why Pretending You Don’t See Race or Gender Is an Obstacle to Equality

Research by Geoff Cohen featured in Slate’s article on how ‘color or gender blind’ claims can exacerbate existing social inequities.

Why It's So Hard to Admit When You're Wrong

The New York Times explores the difficult process of admitting wrongdoing, including research by Carol Dweck on how individuals fostering a growth mindset may be more readily able to admit fault.

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.

AERA: Measuring Persistence and Self-Control Through Tasks, Not Tests

This piece features research from Mindset Scholars on using performance tasks to measure students’ progress and the difficulties of comparing self-report measures across schools.

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.