from the world's big
Study finds the secret ingredient to academic success
A large new study pinpoints a technique to achieving better grades and success in life.
- A growth mindset could help students do better in school, finds a new study.
- 12,000 students were encouraged to grow intellectual abilities and take more challenging courses.
- Graduating high school is linked to better health and financial success.
What one factor is responsible for getting good grades? Of course, there's hard work, and having an engaging and qualified teacher. A well-designed curriculum is also important. But there's another approach that can make a difference, finds a large new National Study of Learning Mindsets. Instilling a growth mindset can make a quick and lasting difference, discovered the scientists.
The national study looked at 12,000 ninth graders from 65 public high schools around the United States. The researchers saw that a helpful intervention can be made to encourage a growth mindset, the belief that intellectual abilities are not fixed solely by genetics but can be developed. You can essentially become smart. Such a mindset can lead to success not just in high school, which 20% of American students don't finish on time, but college and in all aspects of life.
Finishing high school on time is important because not doing so can lead to a host of related issues, like an increased risk of poverty, bad health and early death.
David Yeager, the lead author of the study and an associate professor of psychology at The University of Texas at Austin, said that their research "cemented a striking finding" from previous studies which showed that a brief intervention can affect the grades of teens months later, setting them up for greater achievements.
Interestingly, the study also demonstrated that "higher-achieving students don't get higher grades after the program, but they are more likely to take harder classes that set them up for long-term success," explained Yeager.
The researchers conducted two 25-minute online sessions at the beginning of high school and found that a whole spectrum fo students, from lower to higher-achieving could benefit from the program. The lower-achieving students improved their grades by 0.1 grade points in core subjects like math, English, social studies and science. The program also decreased the amount of students with a D or F average in the courses by 5%.
The intervention also succeeded in growing the number of 10th-grade students who took Algebra II or higher by 3% among both the students who were doing poorly and the high achievers.
Yeager noted that these effects are "substantial when compared to the most successful large-scale, lengthy and rigorously evaluated interventions with adolescents in the educational research literature."
He also pointed out that while the program works and has a low cost to implement, the growth mindset is not "a magic bullet". Its effectiveness depends on the particular circumstances of each school.
"A mindset intervention is like planting a seed; it grows to fruition in fertile soil, said Yeager.
Medium- and low-performing schools that applied the growth mindset intervention, steering students to take on more challenging courses, saw low achievers improve their grades by 0.15 grade points in core subjects while performance in STEM courses went up 0.17 points.
You can read the study published in Nature.
Emotional intelligence is a skill sought by many employers. Here's how to raise yours.
- Daniel Goleman's 1995 book Emotional Intelligence catapulted the term into widespread use in the business world.
- One study found that EQ (emotional intelligence) is the top predictor of performance and accounts for 58% of success across all job types.
- EQ has been found to increase annual pay by around $29,000 and be present in 90% of top performers.
The rough beauty of the American West seems as far as you can get from the polished corridors of power in Washington DC.
The rough beauty of the American West seems as far as you can get from the polished corridors of power in Washington DC. Until you look at the title to the land. The federal government owns large tracts of the western states: from a low of 29.9% in Montana, already more than the national average, up to a whopping 84.5% in Nevada.
Researchers are using technology to make visual the complex concepts of racism, as well as its political and social consequences.
- Often thought of first as gaming tech, virtual reality has been increasingly used in research as a tool for mimicking real-life scenarios and experiences in a safe and controlled environment.
- Focusing on issues of oppression and the ripple affect it has throughout America's political, educational, and social systems, Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn of Columbia University School of Social Work and her team developed a VR experience that gives users the opportunity to "walk a mile" in the shoes of a black man as he faces racism at three stages in his life: as a child, during adolescence, and as an adult.
- Cogburn says that the goal is to show how these "interwoven oppressions" continue to shape the world beyond our individual experiences. "I think the most important and powerful human superpower is critical consciousness," she says. "And that is the ability to think, be aware and think critically about the world and people around you...it's not so much about the interpersonal 'Do I feel bad, do I like you?'—it's more 'Do I see the world as it is? Am I thinking critically about it and engaging it?'"
President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.
A new coronavirus vaccine on display at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/ Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP
Medical workers draw blood from volunteers participating in a trial of a coronavirus vaccine at the Budenko Main Military Hospital outside Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP
A report from the New York Times raises questions over how the teletherapy startup Talkspace handles user data.