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Update: We are reaching out to the schools in the National Mindsets Innovation Network and talking to teachers and leaders about how they are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. We want to learn about what you, your colleagues, or other teachers are doing to support students' mindsets. Please reach out to us and share your experiences.

The National Study of Learning Mindsets (NSLM) or as it is otherwise referred to as Students’ Perspectives about the Transition to High School (PATHS) study is a longitudinal research study and program evaluation lead by Dr. Carol Dweck, Stanford University, and Dr. David Yeager, University of Texas. The purpose of the study is to determine if positive growth mindset messages can be presented to students as they transition to high school that will help improve students’ academic outcomes and social success during high school and beyond. The study was conducted in 76 high schools in 27 states and involved more than 16,000 students to ensure a nationally representative sample.

A growth mindset—the belief that intelligence can grow and develop—and a purpose for learning mindset—the belief that people work in hard in school so they can gain skills that can help them make a difference for a valued goal—can keep students motivated when they face challenges in school. Past studies found that online treatments can help students foster a growth mindset and a purpose mindset, which then can boost grades.

Questions remained, however, about whether such a treatment effect could cause students to take more challenging courses, whether effects generalize to the country’s diverse set of public high schools and, even more importantly, where mindset treatments are most and least effective. The National Study of Learning Mindsets was designed to answer such questions.

As part of continuing the study first started in school year 2015-2016, we are currently in the process of conducting Wave 2 of the National Study of Learning Mindsets. The Wave 2 study is conducted under the aegis of Population Research Center (pictured above) housed within the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin.



The National Study of Learning Mindsets study has received funding from the Raikes Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Bezos Family Foundation, the Character Lab, the Houston Endowment, the National Institutes of Health under award number R01HD084772-01, National Science Foundation under grant number 1761179, Angela Duckworth (personal gift), the President and Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Stanford University, the UBS Optimus Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This research was supported by grant, P2CHD042849, Population Research Center, awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and an Advanced Research Fellowship from the Jacobs Foundation to David Yeager. The content of this website is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, or other funders.