This page covers the first (efficacy) trial of Changing Mindsets, which tested whether it could work in schools under best possible conditions. To read about the second (effectiveness) trial – testing a scalable model under everyday conditions in a large number of schools – click here.
The Changing Mindsets project sought to improve academic attainment by supporting pupils to develop a growth mindset: the belief that intelligence is not a fixed characteristic and can be increased through effort. Previous research (Good et al., 2003; Blackwell et al., 2007) has suggested that holding this belief enables pupils to work harder and achieve better results. The project consisted of two separate interventions:
- an intervention that taught pupils directly about the malleability of intelligence through six workshops, which were delivered by undergraduates from the University of Portsmouth, and four further sessions delivered by two local organisations: the Education Business Partnership, and Pompey Study Centre (now called Portsmouth in the Community).
- a professional development course that trained teachers on approaches to developing and reinforcing growth mindsets through their teaching. This course consisted of two half days of instruction.
The project targeted Year 5 pupils in Portsmouth, Southampton and Hampshire. The delivery of the interventions was led by the University of Portsmouth and took place between January and May 2013.