Weekly Digest #61: Does Mindset Matter?

Weekly Digest #61: Does Mindset Matter?

In 1998, Mueller and Dweck published their landmark study establishing mindset as a possible influence on student performance (1). Since then, mindset has been widely studied and this work has led to multiple intervention programs. However, as with other education trends, mindset research is not without controversy. Today we provide resources that support and criticize mindset interventions so that you can come to your own conclusions.

 
Image from Twitter

Image from Twitter

Carissa Romero provides a very easy-to-read summary of the research supporting growth mindset as a means of improving students’ performance.

 
Image from Coach Magazine

Image from Coach Magazine

In a highly critical piece, Tom Chivers describes many of the issues with Dweck’s work, including failed replications, questionable statistics, and profitable intervention programs that hinge on successful research.

 
Image from Stanford.edu

Image from Stanford.edu

Dweck responds to the Chivers article above, addressing many of the concerns levied against her and explaining the current state of mindset research. She notes that she and her colleagues have cautioned against wide-scale implementations until we better understand the contexts in which mindset interventions work.

 
Image from Twitter

Image from Twitter

Nick Rose cautions educators from implementing growth mindset implementations in the classroom without careful consideration. He provides some specific guidelines for educators.

 

5) Teachers, Parents Often Misuse Growth Mindset Research, Carol Dweck Says by The Hechinger Report, @hechingerreport

This article summarizes Dweck’s thoughts on the misapplication of mindset research. That is, parents and educators seem to be quick to provide feedback that seems to be “growth” oriented, but simply focusing on effort is not sufficient.

 

Bottom Line

If you are a parent or educator, please do some careful reading before trying to implement an educational trend with students. Most interventions depend on context and do not work for all students so any changes based on limited research should be made with caution.


References

(1) Mueller, C.M., & Dweck, C.S. (1998). Praise for intelligence can undermine children's motivation and performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 33-52.

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