Students are more likely to be motivated to learn and resilient in the face of obstacles, if they have a ‘growth mindset’. According to Carol Dweck, a Stanford University professor, all of us fall somewhere on the continuum of fixed and growth mindset. The people with fixed mindset believe they have an innate unchangeable ability that leads to success while people with growth mindset believe that talents and abilities can be developed through effort, training, learning from experiences, and persistence.
Williams from Harvardx, Dweck and many others have studied the effect of classroom interventions that introduced the concept of growth mindset and neuroplasticity to high school students as well as undergraduate students. It is important to incorporate these brief socio-psychological interventions in the classroom in addition to the semester long engagement with the concepts in different disciplines, as they generally have a long term effect on academic success.
Listen to Dweck summarizing her team’s research in this video on Growth Mindset. In this Ted talk she focuses on ways to give feedback on assessment to cultivate growth mindset. For more information on effects of brief session long socio-psychological interventions that address students’ motivation and beliefs about their ability, read a review of research by Yeager and Walton: “Social-Psychological Interventions in Education: They’re Not Magic”.
PERT, Project for Education Research That Scales, creates and evaluates resources that instructors can use to help their students become successful learners. PERT offers a lesson plan to teach students about Growth mindset. The lesson plan is targeted at high school students but has a lot of resources to help you adapt it to your specific audience. PERT is also a good place to explore for yourself the concept of mindset and the way it affects student success. If you would rather create your own short activity for your students, here are some videos that can work as your base material:
If you would like to incorporate learning from this research in your course next year or would like to study the effect of such intervention in your classroom, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org