Students enjoy classes more and get better grades if they feel their Professor has Faith in them

Posted on February 16, 2021

Research has shown that our own mindset is likely to have an impact on how we behave, how motivated we feel, and what we achieve. But the new study looked at how students’ perceptions of their STEM professors’ mindset affected their experience and engagement in classes.

In the first experiment, participants watched a short video clip from the first day of a university calculus course in which a professor expressed his beliefs about what it took to do well in the class. In one condition, the professor expressed beliefs suggesting a fixed mindset (“You either have the skills or you don’t”), in another expressed growth mindset beliefs (“The assignments are designed to help you improve your skills”), and in the third expressed no mindset beliefs.

Those who watched the fixed mindset video anticipated feeling significantly less belonging and less engagement in the class than those who were shown the growth mindset video, and expressed more concerns about being evaluated negatively. Meanwhile, those who watched the growth mindset video anticipated higher engagement in and effort towards the class than either the fixed mindset group or the control group, and expected to perform significantly better than their fixed mindset group counterparts. In a second study, replicating the first, growth mindset group participants also reported lower levels of impostor feelings and less likelihood of dropping the course.

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Category(s):Child Development, Learning Difficulties

Source material from British Psychological Society