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Title: Beliefs, affordances, and adolescent development: Lessons from a decade of growth mindset interventions
Beliefs play a central role in human development. For instance, a growth mindset—a belief about the malleability of intelligence—can shape how adolescents interpret and respond to academic difficulties and how they subsequently navigate the educational system. But do usually-adaptive beliefs have the same effects for adolescents regardless of the contexts they are in? Answering this question can reveal new insights into classic developmental questions about continuity and change. Here we present the Mindset×Context framework and we apply this model to the instructive case of growth mindset interventions. We show that teaching students a growth mindset is most effective in educational contexts that provide affordances for a growth mindset; that is, contexts that permit and encourage students to view ability as developable and to act on that belief. This evidence contradicts the “beliefs alone” hypothesis, which holds that teaching adolescents a growth mindset is enough and that students can profit from these beliefs in almost any context, even unsupportive ones. The Mindset×Context framework leads to the realization that in order to produce more widespread and lasting change, we must complement the belief-changing interventions that have been aimed at students with new interventions that guide teachers toward classroom policies and practices that more » allow students' growth mindset beliefs to take root and yield benefits. « less
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Lockman, Jeffrey J.
Award ID(s):
1761179 2004831
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Advances in child development and behavior
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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