Thursday, September 29, 2016

Impact of Poverty on Student Achievement: All in the Mind?

Impact of Poverty on Student Achievement: All in the Mind?:

Impact of Poverty on Students: All in Their Minds?

growth mindset in students

Students from low-income families who believe that they can develop skills and do better in school if they work hard and practice—a “growth mindset,” in other words—may be buffered from the effects of poverty on student achievement, a Stanford University study has found.
But students who live in poverty are less likely to have growth mindsets. Instead, they have what researchers call a “fixed mindset,” or the idea that intelligence and skills are more like foot size or eye color: an unchangeable trait.
The topic of growth vs fixed mindsets, and their effects on student achievement, has been a popular—and controversial—one since Stanford’s Carol Dweck published her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success in 2006. But the recent Stanford study, which involved 168,000 10th-grade students across all of Chile, is the most expansive, and goes the furthest to explore how family income interacts with mindset.
Typically, students from low-income families score worse on standardized tests than their wealthier peers. But the researchers found that poor students with growth mindsets performed just as well as wealthy students with fixed mindsets.
“Strikingly, students from low-income families (the lowest 10 percent) who had a growth mindset showed comparable test scores with fixed mindset students whose families earned 13 times more (80th percentile),” said the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and co-authored by Dweck, Susana Claro, and David Paunesko, all of Stanford.
The problem is students from low-income families are much less likely to have growth mindsets. “At the extremes, students from the lowest-income families were twice as likely to endorse a fixed mindset as students from the top-income families and schools,” according to the study.

Growth Mindset in Students – Deficit Ideology?

But is a focus on “growth mindset” just another way of blaming individual students for problems that are institutionalized and overwhelming? Is it another way of Impact of Poverty on Student Achievement: All in the Mind?:

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