Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck’s research on intelligence, motivation and achievement has changed the thinking of educators around the globe – and now it’s helping to drive a first-in-the-nation experiment in seven of California’s largest school districts.
In a 2007 study, Dweck and her colleagues found that students who believed they could increase their intelligence worked harder in mathematics and outperformed peers of similar ability, who believed that intelligence was a fixed trait given at birth.
Dweck dubbed the belief that intelligence can be developed a “growth mindset” and has charted its power to shift students’ academic attitudes and achievements. This spring, students’ beliefs about intelligence are among the social and emotional factors to be measured in the new
school rating system under development in the seven districts.
After receiving an unprecedented waiver from the requirements of the No Child Left Behind law, the districts are replacing standardized test scores as the sole measure of school success. Instead, the districts’ are developing a new accountability system that also includes school climate and culture measurements, suspension and expulsion rates, and the hard-to-define qualities of motivation, self-management, empathy and agrowth mindset. With nearly 1 million students enrolled in the districts, the new accountability system is thought to be the largest effort to focus on and evaluate students’ habits of mind.
In a pilot test of measurement tools, the seven unified districts – Los Angeles, Long Beach, Fresno, San Francisco, Santa Ana, Oakland and Sanger – are trying to figure out how to quantify these so-called non-cognitive factors. Together the districts formed a collaborative called CORE, or theCalifornia Office to Reform Education. Sacramento City Unified, an original member of CORE, announced in April that it will not seek an extension of the one-year waiver to the No Child Left Behind law – as the seven districts are planning to do – and will return to a standardized-test-Measuring a ‘growth mindset’ in a new school accountability system | EdSource Today: