Sunday, December 18, 2016


Recent reports suggest that social-psychological interventions (even brief and conducted on-line) can alter the way students think about learning. A good summary of interventions affecting identity and community,  passion and purpose,  grit and growth, and learning strategies can be found here.

Broadly speaking, these interventions embrace the principle that teaching students certain attitudes, beliefs, and skills, such as

  • believing that intelligence is malleable 
  • taking pride in belonging to their learning community 
  • seeing the connection between school and future goals 
  • developing metacognitive learning skills

improves their intrinsic motivation, in turn resulting in more effective persistence and stronger academic performance. More importantly this approach equips students with the ability to internalize setbacks as learning opportunities.  As Dweck writes in Mindset

“the passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
Stanford University recently launched “THE RESILIENCE PROJECT” that “combines personal storytelling, events, programs, and academic skills coaching to motivate and support students as they experience the setbacks that are a normal part of a rigorous education.” The website has several short videos that might be utilized in our teaching and advising:

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