New Study Shows Where ‘Growth Mindset’ Training Works (And Where It Doesn’t)
August 7, 2019
By: Jeffrey R. Young
A large nationwide study has found that teaching ninth graders to maintain a “growth mindset” toward learning—stressing that their minds are like muscles that can get stronger with use—can result in higher test scores.
The study, published today in the journal Nature, is the largest and most rigorous test of whether mindset trainings can improve student performance. The concept is already well-known in education circles, and it has gained national attention thanks to books and TED talks by Carol Dweck, an education professor at Stanford University. Dweck is a co-author of the study released today.
The basic idea is that how students perceive how their brains work can impact how successful they are in the classroom. Those with a so-called “fixed mindset” toward learning believe that the ability to do well in school is something that people either have or don’t. But Dweck and her colleagues believe that everyone can learn if they work hard, and that those who see things that way will do better at school than those with fixed mindsets.