“Does growth mindset matter? The debate heats up”

Originally posted in our December 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter.

Long-time followers of ELI’s work will know the importance of developing a growth mindset on the path to learning to think like an entrepreneur. However, as the idea has gained more traction in mainstream education, new research has been done to test the efficacy of the model.

In one meta-analysis, a “ team…led by Jeni Burnette, a psychologist at North Carolina State University, found that the results [of mindset interventions] were wildly different for students across 53 studies published between 2002 and 2020…In their final analysis, [they] concluded that growth mindset interventions are helpful for some but not all students. Low-achieving and disadvantaged students were most likely to benefit. High achievers typically did not get a boost.”

Other meta-analyses have reached quite different conclusions, furthering the debate. What is clear is that differing methodologies between studies need to be better defined. However, most concur that there is some value in mindset interventions for many students. That being said, developing a growth mindset “isn’t going to close the achievement gap; it’s no silver bullet. We still need to improve how schools teach. But small psychological boosts like this might help some students on the margin.”

Read this article from the Hechinger Report to learn more about the latest research around growth mindsets.

Get in on the debate