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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: growth mindset

You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.

February 6, 2015 at 5:00 AM

Beliefs about raw talent can skew academic career choices

Who performs the best: Students who believe they’re naturally smart or students who believe they get smarter through effort?

Research suggests it’s the latter.

Students who think they’re born with smarts are reluctant to jeopardize their self-image with challenging tasks. On the flip side, students who belong to groups stereotyped as naturally inferior may get anxious about those biases and perform below their potential on tests.

A recent study suggests those attitudes may help shape university careers, too.

That study, based on a nationwide survey of academics, shows that women and African-Americans are least represented in the fields where professors believe that raw, innate talent is the main requirement for success, according to the journal Science.


Comments | More in News | Topics: growth mindset, higher ed, Science of learning

May 22, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Researchers: If students believe they can get smarter, they often do

Illustration by Donna Grethen / Op Art

Illustration by Donna Grethen / Op Art

Of all the factors that affect how — and how much — students learn, mounting research suggests the way they view intelligence is one of them.

Do they believe intelligence is something they can’t change, as fixed as the color of their eyes?

Or do they see it more like a muscle that, through training and effort, can grow?

At the Education Writers Conference earlier this week in Nashville, I spent a morning listening to three researchers who believe the latter, and have added to the studies that suggest that simply helping students understand that they can improve their intelligence leads to higher grades.

They think that’s because students are willing to work harder if they believe it will pay off, and are more willing to seek help because what they call a “growth mindset” removes some of the fear of looking stupid.

Even brief discussions of the malleability of the brain seem to boost achievement.


Comments | More in News | Topics: Camille Farrington, Dave Paunesku, David Yeager