Changing Mindset 2015

Portsmouth University’s Growing Learners team provides support to schools to encourage “growth mindsets” in their pupils. Following on from a previous EEF-funded study, Year 6 teachers receive training that: introduces them to the theory and evidence; supports them in how to embed the approach in their classrooms; gives them the materials to run an 8 week programme of weekly lessons and activities. The materials are structured and detailed, so teachers will be expected to begin delivery of the lessons shortly after the training.

Why are we funding it?

The previous EEF-funded Changing Mindset study compared the impact of the weekly mindset sessions, delivered by trained students and external agencies, against a control group of pupils who were receiving similar sessions, but without the mindset message. This estimated an effect of 0.1 standard deviations on Maths and 0.18 on English, but the sample size was small. This builds on some US studies of similar interventions which also found positive impacts, and was the first evaluated by an independent team. 

The study also tested the impact of short CPD sessions aimed at changing teachers’ language and behaviour. This did not show an impact.

This trial will test whether the sessions themselves have an impact when delivered directly by teachers . 

How are we evaluating it?

A team from National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) will evaluate the project. It will be an effectiveness study. Effectiveness trials aim to test whether an intervention can work at scale in a large number of schools.

Portsmouth University will seek to recruit 100 schools, who will then be randomly allocated to receive the training in September 2016 for their Year 6 pupils (the intervention group), or be offered the training in the summer 2017 for their Year 5 teachers (a wait-list control group). The impact on attainment will be measured by comparing the pupils’ Key Stage 2 tests taken in May 2017. We will also assess whether pupils’ view about themselves as learners have changed, through questionnaires completed by all pupils before randomisation and in spring 2017

When will the evaluation report be due?

The evaluation report will be published in spring 2018.