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I’m a big proponent of Carol Dweck’s research on a growth mindset (see The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset”). I use it with my students and, in fact, it’s a concept we push heavily school-wide in our Social Emotional Learning initiative. I’ve seen a number of students positively affected by it, and it’s provided me with a positive tool to improve my classroom’s environment.

So I was very pleased to see a recent study by Dweck and her colleagues finding that teaching students about a growth mindset can be very effective on a larger-scale.

However, almost simultaneous with the publication of that study, a detailed critique of it was also published, basically claiming that the data did not support the researchers’ conclusions.

Despite my continuing efforts to become more sophisticated in my understanding of the research behind these kinds of studies (see The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research), I don’t really understand the data and methodology of the study nor of the critique.

I had hoped that some of the 275 comments following the critique might provide me with some clarity, but I was amazed at how few of the comments actually related to the study itself. Most commented on topics as wide-ranging as global warming, El Nino, and speaker fees for academics. Reading those 275 comments is time I’ll never get back 🙂 .

I did, however, find three that seemed to provide some value, but I couldn’t understand them either.

I’m hoping that readers with far more knowledge of research data analysis might be able to enlighten me about these dueling claims, and will also be requesting the assistance of people who I know have greater knowledge in this arena.

The more I learn, the more I discover I don’t know.

What is your take on this research?