Giving Compass' Take:

· This independent evaluation published by MDRC covers the examination of a growth mindset intervention by The National Study of Learning Mindsets. 

· What is involved in a growth mindset intervention? How is this intervention going to be evaluated? How can donors suppler research into other initiative to help boost student success?

· Read more about research into growth mindset interventions

The transition to high school is a volatile time for adolescents and a precarious point in the course of their education. Students who successfully navigate this transition and pass their ninth-grade classes are far more likely to graduate from high school with their peers and attend college than those who fail courses in the ninth grade. For example, a study has shown that being “on-track” (earning credits in core courses with no failing grades) at the end of the first year of high school is associated with an 85 percent chance of graduating from high school on time, compared with a 28 percent chance for students who are “off-track.” The growing awareness of the importance of the first year of high school for future success has prompted schools and districts across the country to develop interventions designed for ninth-graders.

“Growth mindset” is an intervention that aims to increase students’ desire to take on challenges and to enhance their persistence in school by counteracting the assumption, through the development of specific psychological processes, that academic struggles and setbacks mean that one is “not smart.” These psychological processes can result in academic resilience, which in turn can lead to better academic performance of ninth-graders as they make the transition to public high schools.

Read the full article about the growth mindset intervention by Pei Zhu, Ivonne Garcia, and Erick Alonzo at MDRC.