(Growth) Mindset links


This is a collection of articles about (Growth) Mindset. We are (cautiously) using research about grit and growth mindset to help inform teaching and learning at our school. You can read about it how we have approached it here.

Carol Dweck

Dweck recently published an article outlining her research to date, and addressing some of the questions (and criticisms) levelled at her work: Growth mindset is on a firm foundation, but we’re still building the house

And this is a really interesting commentary from her “Recently, someone asked what keeps me up at night. It’s the fear that the mindset concepts, which grew up to counter the failed self-esteem movement, will be used to perpetuate that movement. In other words, if you want to make students feel good, even if they’re not learning, just praise their effort! Want to hide learning gaps from them? Just tell them, “Everyone is smart!” The growth mindset was intended to help close achievement gaps, not hide them. It is about telling the truth about a student’s current achievement and then, together, doing something about it, helping him or her become smarter.”

You can also watch Carol Dweck’s TED talk

Her much-cited paper from 2007: Implicit Theories of Intelligence Predict Achievement Across an Adolescent Transition: A Longitudinal Study and an Intervention

And a more recent one: What Predicts Children’s Fixed and Growth Intelligence Mind-Sets? Not Their Parents’ Views of Intelligence but Their Parents’ Views of Failure

Research articles

Paunesku et al.: Mind-Set Interventions Are a Scalable Treatment for Academic Underachievement

Research into cognitive processes, growth mindset, and the ability to bounce back from mistakes: Moser et al. – Mind Your Errors Evidence for a Neural Mechanism Linking Growth Mind-Set to Adaptive Posterror Adjustments

An article from Jo Boaler about number sense and overcoming anxiety in maths: Fluency Without Fear: Research Evidence on the Best Ways to Learn Math Facts

Some research about resilience interventions: Lewis et al. CAN A RULES-BASED MODEL ILLUMINATE RESILIENCE MECHANISMS?

A school-based study into improving the learning, motivation and well-being of its students: Developing Learning at St Mary’s Secondary School, UK: Improving the motivation and well-being of students

Blog posts and similar

This article from Jo Boaler questions the idea that we all have limits to the level we can work to, depending on “what we were born with” Anyone can learn to high levels

collection of posts from Zoe Elder about mindset. This one links many of her ideas together: What learning looks like… to me

An easily readable piece from New York Magazine about the influence of language on mindset: How not to talk to your kids

Paul Kirschner and Mirjam Neelen examine grit “Like deliberate practice, grit is one of those buzzwords used a lot by MANY but understood by FEW…. And although grit might be important, as goes for deliberate practice it’s not always well understood or applied.” : To grit or not to grit: that’s the question

In a bid to boost independent learning skills, raise aspirations and build relationships, teachers led by example (and learned new skills): Independent Learning: Leading by example

Appreciating failure, setting goals and practising: The characteristics of great learners

The Confident teacher

Alex Quigley needs a section of his own, because he’s published a series of really thoughtful articles on Growth Mindset:

The Problem with Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset- so what’s next?

Growth Mindset- more evidence

Thinking hard… and motivation

Some cautionary tales

Nancy Gedge (SEND columnist in the TES) asks us to consider those for whom trying harder doesn’t always bring success: Effort does not always equal reward, even with a growth mindset

We discussed growth mindset at our Reading Group and, in particular, how we help students who are used to “failing”: How can we support pupils who feel they always fail?

Andrew Old carries out a thorough review and concludes “Now there may still be something positive to be made of the Growth Mindset idea, but we should wait until the psychology experiments are replicated and the interventions are shown to have statistically significant results. I propose that until then we treat the phrase “Growth Mindset” as unnecessary jargon and those claiming to be able to instill Growth Mindset as either unlikely to be adding anything new to the mix, or worse, sneaking in the usual failed ideas under a new name.” Is Growth Mindset the new Brain Gym?

Another very detailed review (referred to in the article above) from Buzzfeed: A Mindset “Revolution” Sweeping Britain’s Classrooms May Be Based On Shaky Science

Here, Nick Rose gives a balanced view, and sounds a note of caution: Changing behaviour is hard. Just about everyone I know is trying to change their behaviour in some way; trying to eat more healthily or take more exercise, cutting down on drinking or quitting smoking, being more environmentally friendly by recycling more or using their car less. However, simply because we hold certain beliefs and attitudes …doesn’t necessarily mean we successfully change our behaviour.” : Growth mindset: What interventions might work and what probably won’t? and he links within the article to this: Growth mindset: It’s not magic

A review from the New Statesman of Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth: The talent trap: why try, try and trying again isn’t the key to success

Research on psychological interventions (general)

These are highlighted by Nick Rose in his post on Growth Mondset and interventions:

Walton (2014) The new science of wise psychological interventions

Yeager, Walton, and Cohen (2013) Addressing achievement gaps with psychological interventions

Yeager and Walton (2011) Social-Psychological Interventions in Education : They’re Not Magic

Matthew Syed

Matthew Syed’s books: Bounce and Black Box Thinking talk about mindset and practice. You can read a review of Bounce here, and hear Syed talking about it here here.

This review of Black Box Thinking helps explain why we are keen to embed a “safe fail” culture within our school: Learning from failure:  What stops people from turning mistakes into success?


Lots of resources in this post from Class Teaching: Thinking About Mindset

A blogsite devoted to Growth Mindset… and maths: Growth Mindset Maths

A collection of growth resources from Youcubed (at Stanford University)

This post on a teacher’s “mindset journey” includes resources such as a drop box of materials: The Next Steps In Our Mindset Journey









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