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New Evidence That Students’ Beliefs About Their Brains Drive Learning

Education Next – Susana Claro and Susanna Loeb

“Responding to the need to look beyond test scores to measure school quality, an increasing number of school districts are striving to incorporate socio-emotional learning measures in their accountability policies. Growth mindset – believing that intelligence and talent can change – is one of these measures. Experimental research has found that developing a growth mindset can improve academic achievement and that schools can affect students’ mindset. However, until now we have not known how mindset varies across and within American schools or whether measures of mindset on a large-scale predict students’ future learning. A new study fills this gap by using data from five school districts in California that measure growth mindset for students in 3rd to 8th grade to assess the extent that students with stronger growth mindset learn more in a given year than those without. It finds that traditionally underserved students – including students in poverty, English learners, Hispanics, and African-American students – are less likely to hold a growth mindset.”(more)

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