2015-01-22: Major Research Instrumentation Program

Funding Opportunity Number: 15-504
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Eligible Applicants: Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Agency Name: NSF
Closing Date: 2015-01-22
Award Ceiling: $4,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 160

Description: The Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training in our Nation’s institutions of higher education, not-for-profit museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations.  The program provides organizations with opportunities to acquire major instrumentation that supports the research and research training goals of the organization and that may be used by other researchers regionally or nationally.  ??
Each MRI proposal may request support for the acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single research instrument for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use.  ?? Development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at MRI submission-eligible organizations are encouraged.
The MRI program assists with the acquisition or development of a shared research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs.  ?? The program does not fund research projects or provide ongoing support for operating or maintaining facilities or centers.
The instrument acquired or developed is expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period.  For the purposes of the MRI program, a proposal must be for either acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single, well-integrated instrument.  ??The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories or facilities, or that can be used to conduct independent research activities simultaneously.
Instrument acquisition or development proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million may be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization.  Proposals that request funds from NSF less than $100,000 may also be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization for the disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral and economic sciences and from non-Ph.  D.  -granting institutions of higher education for all NSF-supported disciplines.
Cost-sharing of precisely 30% of the total project cost is required for Ph.  D.  -granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations.  Non-Ph.  D.  -granting institutions of higher education are exempt from cost-sharing and cannot include it.  National Science Board policy is that voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.
Please see the solicitation text for definitions of organizational types used by the MRI program.
Link: www.grants.gov…

2015-02-02: Science, Technology, and Society

Funding Opportunity Number: 15-506
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Eligible Applicants: Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Agency Name: NSF
Closing Date: 2015-02-02
Award Ceiling: $180,000
Expected Number of Awards: 40

Description: The Science, Technology, and Society (STS) program supports research that uses historical, philosophical, and social scientific methods to investigate the intellectual, material, and social facets of the scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) disciplines.  It encompasses a broad spectrum of STS topics including interdisciplinary studies of ethics, equity, governance, and policy issues that are closely related to STEM disciplines, including medical science.
The program’s review process is approximately six months.  It includes appraisal of proposals by ad hoc reviewers selected for their expertise and by an advisory panel that meets twice a year.  The deadlines for the submission of proposals are February 2nd for proposals to be funded as early as July, and August 3rd for proposals to be funded in or after January.  There is one exception: Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant proposals will have only one deadline per year, August 3rd.
The Program encourages potential investigators with questions as to whether their proposal fits the goals of the program to contact one of the program officers.
Link: www.grants.gov…

2015-01-28: Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity

Funding Opportunity Number: 14-610
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Eligible Applicants: Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Agency Name: NSF
Closing Date: 2015-01-28
Expected Number of Awards: 10

Description: The Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC) program supports academe-industry partnerships, which are led by an interdisciplinary academic research team with a least one industry partner to build technological, human, and service system innovation capacity. These partnerships focus on the integration of technologies into a specified human-centered smart service system with the potential to achieve transformational change in an existing service system or to spur an entirely new service system. These technologies have been inspired by existing breakthrough discoveries.
Service systems are socio-technical configurations of people, technologies, organizations, and information designed to deliver services that create and deliver value [1]. A “smart” service system is a system capable of learning, dynamic adaptation, and decision making based upon data received, transmitted, and/or processed to improve its response to a future situation. The system does so through self-detection, self-diagnosing, self-correcting, self-monitoring, self-organizing, self-replicating, or self-controlled functions. These capabilities are the result of the incorporation of technologies for sensing, actuation, coordination, communication, control, etc. The system may exhibit a sequence of features such as detection, classification, and localization that lead to an outcome occurring within a reasonable time.
PFI:BIC funds research partnerships working on projects that operate in the post-fundamental discovery space but precede being on a clear path to commercialization. These projects require additional effort to integrate the technology into a real service system with human factors considerations, which in turn might spawn additional discoveries inspired by this interaction of humans with the technology.
Partnership activities that drive sustained innovation include the targeted allocation of resources such as capital, time, and facilities; and sharing of knowledge in a cross-organizational and interdisciplinary context. The project must involve research tasks that demonstrate a highly collaborative research plan with participation of the primary industrial partner with the academic researcher during the life of the award.
Cultivating smart service systems requires not only the participation of the scientific discipline or disciplines related to the technology, but also of a range of other disciplines needed to achieve successful integration into a smart service system. The resulting system requires an understanding of human interaction with technology and a human-centered design to assure the desirability and the effectiveness of the proposed service system. Thus, in addition to the discipline related to the technology, the disciplines to be included in this project are 1) systems engineering or engineering design, 2) computer science/information technology, and 3) human factors/behavioral science/cognitive engineering. Some teams not experienced with service engineering might benefit from consulting with an individual with expertise in service operations or service systems. NSF recognizes that the labels for the aforementioned disciplines may vary in different institutions and organizations, so what is important here is to demonstrate the equivalence of the representation of these disciplines. The proposer will be asked to show how the disciplines will be integrated in the context of the project as part of the research plan in the Project Description.
Examples [2] of technology applied to service systems include smart healthcare, smart cities, on-demand transportation, precision agriculture, smart infrastructure, and other technologies enabling self-service and customized service solutions.
WEBINARS: Webinars will be held to answer questions about the solicitation. Register on the PFI:BIC website where details will be posted (www.nsf.gov…. Potential proposers and their partners are encouraged to attend. Also, Vice Presidents for Research and academic personnel concerned with the review of their respective institution’s selection of candidates for submission, individuals from Sponsored Research Offices, and those focused on the identification and understanding of limited application submissions are encouraged to attend.
[1] Spohrer J., Maglio P. P., Bailey J., Gruhl D. (2007). Steps towards a science of service systems. Computer 40(1):71-77. doi:10.1109/MC.2007.33.
[2] Note that examples have been provided in this solicitation to offer a sense of the variety of possibilities across types of service systems and the forefront technologies that would allow them to achieve their apex of effectiveness and efficiency, but by no means are they intended to represent program emphases or priorities.
Link: www.grants.gov…

2015-01-15: National Digital Newspaper Program

Funding Opportunity Number: 20150115-PJ
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Category of Funding Activity: Humanities (see “Cultural Affairs” in CFDA)
Eligible Applicants: State governments | County governments | City or township governments | Special district governments | Public and State controlled institutions of higher education | Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized) | Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education | Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education | Private institutions of higher education
Agency Name: NEH
Closing Date: 2015-01-15
Award Ceiling: $325,000

Description: NEH is soliciting proposals from institutions to participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).  NDNP is creating a national digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1836 and 1922, from all the states and U.  S.  territories.  This searchable database will be permanently maintained at the Library of Congress (LC) and will be freely accessible via the Internet.  (See the website, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.  ) An accompanying national newspaper directory of bibliographic and holdings information on the website directs users to newspaper titles available in all types of formats.  During the course of its partnership with NEH, LC will also digitize and contribute to the NDNP database a significant number of newspaper pages drawn from its own collections.
NEH intends to support projects in all states and U.  S.  territories, provided that sufficient funds allocated for this purpose are available.  One organization within each U.  S.  state or territory will receive an award to collaborate with relevant state partners in this effort.  Previously funded projects will be eligible to receive supplements for continued work, but the program will give priority to new projects.  In particular, the program will give priority to projects from states and territories that have not received NDNP funding.
Applications that involve collaboration between previously funded and new projects are welcome.  Such collaborations might involve, for example, arranging with current awardees to manage the creation and delivery of digital files; offering regular and ongoing consultation on managing aspects of the project; or providing formal training for project staff at an onsite institute or workshop.
Over a period of two years, successful applicants will select newspapers?published in their state or territory between 1836 and 1922?and convert approximately 100,000 pages into digital files (primarily from microfilm), according to the technical guidelines (PDF) outlined by the Library of Congress.  Applicants may select titles published in Danish, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.  (More languages will be added in future years.  )
Link: www.grants.gov…

2015-03-05: Pacific-American Climate Fund (PACAM)

Funding Opportunity Number: AID-492-C-13-00017
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Environment
Eligible Applicants: Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education | Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education | For profit organizations other than small businesses | Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Agency Name: USAID
Closing Date: 2015-03-05
Award Ceiling: $3,000,000

Description: The Pacific-American Climate Fund will finance
activities in the Pacific Islands region that aim to reduce long-term vulnerabilities associated with
climate change and achieve sustainable climate-resilient development.  Grants financed by the
project will support United States Government (USG) development objectives and will
complement other support provided by the USG to the Pacific Islands.
Link: www.grants.gov…

Science of Science and Innovation Policy Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants

Funding Opportunity Number: 15-513
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Eligible Applicants: Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Agency Name: NSF
Closing Date: 2015-02-09
Expected Number of Awards: 3

Description: The Science of Science Innovation Policy (SciSIP) program supports research designed to advance the scientific basis of science and innovation policy.  Research funded by the program thus develops, improves and expands models, analytical tools, data and metrics that can be applied in the science policy decision making process.  For example, research proposals may develop behavioral and analytical conceptualizations, frameworks or models that have applications across a broad array of SciSIP challenges, including the relationship between broader participation and innovation or creativity.  Proposals may also develop methodologies to analyze science and technology data, and to convey the information to a variety of audiences.  Researchers are also encouraged to create or improve science and engineering data, metrics and indicators reflecting current discovery, particularly proposals that demonstrate the viability of collecting and analyzing data on knowledge generation and innovation in organizations.
Among the many research topics supported are:
examinations of the ways in which the contexts, structures and processes of science and engineering research are affected by policy decision,
the evaluation of the tangible and intangible returns from investments in science and from investments in research and development,
the study of structures and processes that facilitate the development of usable knowledge, theories of creative processes and their transformation into social and economic outcomes,
the collection, analysis and visualization of new data describing the scientific and engineering enterprise.
As part of its effort to encourage and support projects that explicitly integrate education and basic research, SciSIP provides support to enhance and improve the conduct of doctoral dissertation projects carried out by doctoral students enrolled in U.  S.  universities who are conducting scientific research that enhances basic scientific knowledge.
Link: www.grants.gov…

Study links fast food, poor test scores

The Washington Post
Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fast-food consumption isn’t merely connected to increases in pants size — it’s also tied to significant decreases in test scores among school children, according to a new national study.

Researchers at Ohio State University used data from a nationally representative sample of about 11,700 children to measure how fast food might be affecting classroom performance.

The study measured how much fast food the children were eating at age 10 and then compared the consumption levels with test results in reading, math and science three years later.

What they found is even small increases in the frequency of eating fast food were associated with poorer academic test results.

Habitual fast-food eaters — those who ate fast food daily — saw “test score gains that were up to about 20 percent lower than those who didn’t eat any fast food.”

The connection held true even after the researchers took into account more than a dozen other factors about the children’s habits and backgrounds that might have contributed to the association between fast-food consumption and poorer academic performance, including fitness, broader eating habits, socioeconomic status and characteristics of their neighborhoods and schools.

“Our results show clear and consistent associations between children’s fast food consumption in fifth grade and academic growth between fifth and eighth grade,” the researchers wrote.


2015-01-14: Media Projects

Funding Opportunity Number: 20150114-TD
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Humanities (see “Cultural Affairs” in CFDA)
Eligible Applicants: State governments | County governments | City or township governments | Special district governments | Public and State controlled institutions of higher education | Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized) | Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education | Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education | Private institutions of higher education
Agency Name: NEH
Closing Date: 2015-01-14
Award Ceiling: $1,000,000

Description: NEH?s Division of Public Programs supports activities that engage millions of Americans in understanding significant humanities works and ideas.  At the center of every NEH-funded public humanities project is a core set of humanities ideas developed by scholars, matched to imaginative formats that bring those ideas to life for people of all ages and all walks of life.  Projects must be analytical and deeply grounded in humanities scholarship in a discipline such as history, religion, anthropology, jurisprudence, or art history.  NEH is a national funding agency, so the projects we support must demonstrate the potential to attract a broad, general audience.  We welcome humanities projects tailored to particular groups, such as families, youth (including K-12 students), teachers, seniors, at-risk communities, and veterans, but they should also strive to cultivate a more inclusive audience.
Media Projects grants support the following formats:
• film and television projects; and
• radio projects.
Film and television projects may be single programs or a series addressing significant figures, events, or ideas.  Programs must be intended for national distribution.  The Division of Public Programs welcomes projects ranging in length from short-form to broadcast-length video.
Radio projects may involve single programs, limited series, or segments within an ongoing program.  They may also develop new humanities content to augment existing radio programming or add greater historical background or humanities analysis to the subjects of existing programs.  They may be intended for regional or national distribution.
Link: www.grants.gov…

Carol Dweck’s Research

Educational Horizons (2013). Mindsets: How to Motivate Students (and Yourself). This paper presents a conversation with Carol Dweck, the author of “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” (Random House, 2006). She serves as the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Science and is the recipient of numerous awards for her contributions to education. In this conversation, the Journal staff talked to her about mindsets and how they can help–or hinder–motivation. Dweck explains the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed asset and discusses how teachers can teach a growth mindset.
Dweck, Carol S. (2010). Even Geniuses Work Hard, Educational Leadership. In her well-known research, Carol Dweck has documented how individuals’ attitudes about intelligence affect their behavior and achievement. People with a fixed mindset, she writes, believe that intelligence is inborn and unchangeable, whereas those with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can grow through practice and effort. In this article, Dweck discusses how teachers can design and present learning tasks in ways that foster a growth mindset. Such teachers praise the learning process rather than the students’ ability, convey to students the joy of tackling challenging learning tasks, and highlight students’ progress and effort.
Kristjansson, Kristjan (2008). Education and Self-Change, Cambridge Journal of Education. This paper explores three psychological theories of self–Kenneth Gergen’s theory of the crystallised self, Carol Dweck’s theory of the incremental self and William Swann’s theory of the homeostatic self–for their ability to account for personal change in general, and radical self-change in particular. Special attention is paid to their educational implications. The overall conclusion is that whereas all three theories provide important insights into self-change, none of them gives a fully satisfying account.
Ziegler, Albert; Stoeger, Heidrun (2010). Research on a Modified Framework of Implicit Personality Theories, Learning and Individual Differences. There is ample evidence that labeled gifted students exhibit maladaptive behavior patterns. According to Carol Dweck those students who subscribe to a fixed view of their abilities are particularly at risk. In this contribution we extended Dweck’s framework and distinguished two aspects of the implicit theory of one’s own abilities. We hypothesized that the negative consequences of a fixed view are limited to the belief that one’s own deficits are stable. In contrast, we assumed that the belief in the stability of existing abilities as well as the belief in the modifiability of ability deficits is adaptive. In two longitudinal studies with students from grades 7 to 10 we found supportive evidence for the proposed distinction.
Perkins-Gough, Deborah (2013). The Significance of Grit: A Conversation with Angela Lee Duckworth, Educational Leadership. For the last 11 years, Angela Lee Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania has been conducting ground breaking studies on “grit”–the quality that enables individuals to work hard and stick to their long-term passions and goals. In this interview with “Educational Leadership,” Duckworth describes what her research has shown about the relationship between “grit” and achievement, and she reflects on the importance of helping students develop grit and other noncognitive traits. Duckworth explains “grit” is not just having resilience in the face of failure, but also having deep commitments that you remain loyal to over many years. If a student is trying to maximize their outcomes–they want to do as well as they possibly can–then there’s no limit, ceiling, or threshold to their studies–that’s “grit.” Along with Carol Dweck, Duckworth is developing an intervention to look at making students aware of the value of deliberate practice–the kind of effortful practice that really improves skills.
Ziegler, Albert; Fidelman, Marina; Reutlinger, Marold; Vialle, Wilma; Stoeger, Heidrun (2010). Implicit Personality Theories on the Modifiability and Stability of the Action Repertoire as a Meaningful Framework for Individual Motivation: A Cross-Cultural Study, High Ability Studies. The attainment of exceptional accomplishments requires extremely long periods of time. It has yet to be explained, though, how individuals find the motivation for such protracted learning. Carol Dweck proposed that an incremental theory of an individual’s abilities is an important factor in this process since it would account for the optimism needed to successfully tackle new steps in the learning process and would help an individual to cope with setbacks. This study seeks to refine Dweck’s theory. Drawing on the Actiotope Model of Giftedness, we argue that an incremental theory of an individual’s abilities should be divided into two theories: a modifiability theory of the mutability of an individual’s deficits in the areas of knowledge and capability; and a stability theory of the stability of successful extensions of the action repertoire. A sample of 488 12- to 13-year-old students from Brazil, South Korea, Spain, and the United States participated in the cross-sectional study. Their IQ scores place them among the top 5% of the target population. A series of regression analyses using various indicators of motivational behavior as dependent variables shows that the theorized elaboration of Dweck’s approach appears to be very useful.
Singh, Vandana (2011). Using NASA Science News Articles to Enhance Learning in the Classroom, Physics Teacher. In this author’s experience, students of introductory physics and physical science courses are often under-confident of their ability to master physics concepts, many of them believing they simply cannot “get physics,” however hard they might work at it. In addition, they have an impression that physics is not only dry and boring but also static (they do, after all, spend much of their time on the discoveries of Galileo and Newton in physics class). Since they are unlikely to read popular science articles in the media, they tend to be unaware of cutting-edge research in the physical sciences that might, for good or ill, transform their lives. This paper describes an innovative use of articles from NASA’s Science News website, and similar Internet resources that can potentially address the issue of student confidence while increasing science literacy and interest. The approach is inspired by the work of educational psychologist Carol Dweck and her research on “fixed” versus “growth” mindsets. I believe it is necessary for instructors to understand her work if we are to increase student comprehension, interest, and curiosity in the physical sciences.
Becker, John Darrell (2012). AVID Students’ Perceptions of Intelligence: A Mixed Methods Study, ProQuest LLC. Students’ perceptions of intelligence have been shown to have an effect on learning. Students who see intelligence as something that can be developed, those with a growth mindset, often experience academic success, while those who perceive intelligence to be a fixed entity are typically less likely to take on challenging learning experiences and tend to respond negatively to setbacks in learning. The purpose of this study was to assess whether a college preparatory intervention known as Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), through its system of academic and social supports for students, has an effect on participating students’ perceptions of intelligence. Participants in the sequential, embedded, mixed methods study were 54 students participating in the AVID program, and 43 demographically similar non-AVID students at a Central Texas high school. Participating students’ perceptions of intelligence was measured in an online environment using Carol Dweck’s three-item survey, which comprised the quantitative data. Qualitative data collection involved participating students answering open-ended questions related to the curriculum and instruction in the AVID classroom that influence students’ perceptions of intelligence. AVID students whose score indicated a growth mindset were selected for qualitative data analysis. Quantitative results showed no statistical difference between AVID and non-AVID students’ perceptions of intelligence, including students with two or more year’s exposure to the AVID program. However, the qualitative data revealed that AVID students are hearing messages and participating in activities consistent with the growth mindset, and they report that AVID has affected their perceptions of what it means to be “smart.” [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: www.proquest.com…
Nisbett, Richard E. (2010). Think Big, Bigger … and Smaller, Educational Leadership. One important principle of social psychology, writes Nisbett, is that some big-seeming interventions have little or no effect. This article discusses a number of cases from the field of education that confirm this principle. For example, Head Start seems like a big intervention, but research has indicated that its effects on academic achievement gaps are slight because it is not always implemented well. Fortunately, research has also found that some even bigger preschool interventions, such as the Perry Preschool Project and the Abecedarian Project, do produce large effects. On the school level, Nisbett asserts that charter schools in general do not necessarily produce positive effects, but that certain intensive types of charter schools–for example, KIPP schools–do. Nisbett also discusses a second principle of social psychology–that small interventions sometimes produce large effects. He gives several examples, such as Carol Dweck’s work, which teaches students that they can increase their intelligence through their own efforts. The author concludes that to close achievement gaps, we need to be far-sighted enough to invest in very big interventions that are effective–and creative enough to consider small interventions as well.
Fegley, Alan D. (2010). Cultivating a Growth Mindset in Students at a High-Achieving High School, ProQuest LLC. The purpose of this EPP is to develop a plan for changing the mindset of a large number of Haddonfield Memorial High School (HMHS) students from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. HMHS is by most conventional measures a high performing school. Typically 100% of the students graduate with 96% of the students attending two or four year colleges and universities. Despite the apparent academic success of HMHS students, many students at HMHS may not be performing to the learning levels they are capable of due to the student belief that greater or different effort will not result in improved learning success. Chapter 1 further establishes that this student conviction may be due to HMHS students believing and accepting that academic achievement is due to their innate ability and not their learning effort. Professor Carol Dweck describes this situation as one where students tend to have a fixed mindset instead of a growth mindset. Chapter 1 also shows that the HMHS faculty is committed to the belief that all students at HMHS can do well and that greater student effort will enhance student learning. Chapter 2 proposes a plan to help a large number of students at HMHS develop a growth mindset. The proposed plan works within the ethos of the school to help minimize anticipated resistance to the plan by faculty, students, administration, and parents. Chapter 3 systematically describes the leadership strategies and skills required to have the plan in Chapter 2 become part of the everyday operation of the school. With full implementation of the plan it is anticipated that more students at HMHS will possess a growth mindset allowing them to achieve to their fullest potential. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: www.proquest.com…
VanDeWeghe, Rick, Ed. (2003). Research Matters: Students’ Views of “Intelligence”, Teachers’ Praise, and Achievement, English Journal. According to Columbia University social psychologist Carol Dweck, teachers may find some answers to students’ ways of thinking if they consider students’ views of “intelligence.” In “Messages That Motivate: How Praise Molds Students’ Beliefs, Motivation, and Performance (in Surprising Ways),” Dweck maintains that academic motivation and achievement greatly depend on how students view their own intelligence–that is, do they conceive of intelligence as “fixed” (unchanging) or “malleable” (capable of developing)? If students believe intelligence is fixed, they might believe that ability is more important than effort and that appearing to be smart is more important than learning–even if the learning involves some failure. In contrast, if students think that intelligence is malleable, they are inclined to believe that hard work pays off in the end and that grades don’t necessarily measure brain power. Depending on their view of intelligence, students will attach different meanings to “failure.” Those with fixed views consider failure on an individual performance–a research paper, for example–an assessment of their ability, an accurate measure of their intellectual level. But in the malleable view, failure means they put forth insufficient effort or their strategies didn’t work so well. Failure, or difficulty, means that mistakes are likely and signals that something needs changing–try a new strategy, visit the writing center, edit differently, and so on. To promote the malleable view of intelligence, teachers need to rethink their teaching practices along the lines proposed in this study.
Dweck, Carol S. (2012). Mindsets and Human Nature: Promoting Change in the Middle East, the Schoolyard, the Racial Divide, and Willpower, American Psychologist. Debates about human nature often revolve around what is built in. However, the hallmark of human nature is how much of a person’s identity is not built in; rather, it is humans’ great capacity to adapt, change, and grow. This nature versus nurture debate matters–not only to students of human nature–but to everyone. It matters whether people believe that their core qualities are fixed by nature (an entity theory, or fixed mindset) or whether they believe that their qualities can be developed (an incremental theory, or growth mindset). In this article, I show that an emphasis on growth not only increases intellectual achievement but can also advance conflict resolution between long-standing adversaries, decrease even chronic aggression, foster cross-race relations, and enhance willpower. I close by returning to human nature and considering how it is best conceptualized and studied.
Dweck, Carol (2009). Who Will the 21st-Century Learners Be?, Knowledge Quest. In the “Standards for the 21st-Century Learner,” the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) describes the skills, dispositions, responsibilities, and self-assessment strategies that are necessary for a 21st-century learner. However, as wonderful as AASL’s 21st-century goals sound, they will fall on deaf ears because students who have a fixed mindset are more interested in whether they look smart or dumb than they are in acquiring the knowledge they need to succeed in the future. What can educators and librarians do about this? The author’s research shows that students with a “growth mindset”–those who believe that their intelligence can be developed–are eager learners and seek to cultivate the very things the AASL so passionately recommends. What’s more, librarians can help them develop a growth mindset. In this article, the author discusses how to cultivate and foster a growth mindset in students.
Dweck, Carol S. (2010). Mind-Sets and Equitable Education, Principal Leadership. Much talk about equity in education is about bricks and mortar–about having equal facilities and equal resources. Those factors, although extremely important, are relatively easy to quantify. What may be harder to capture are the beliefs that administrators, teachers, and students hold–beliefs that can have a striking impact on students’ achievement. In this paper, the author explains the importance of setting the minds of students and teachers that intelligence can be developed by citing two set of beliefs she identified in her research. In the author’s research, she has identified that people may have a fixed mind-set, in which they believe that intelligence is a static trait: some students are smart and some are not, and that’s that. Or they may have a growth mind-set, in which they believe that intelligence can be developed by various means–for example, through effort and instruction. Recent research has shown that students’ mind-sets have a direct influence on their grades and that teaching students to have a growth mind-set raises their grades and achievement test scores significantly. Rheinberg, a researcher in Germany, found that when teachers had a fixed mind-set, the students who had entered their class as low achievers left as low achievers at the end of the year. When teachers had a growth mind-set, however, many of the students who had started the year as low achievers moved up and became moderate or even high achievers.
Dweck, Carol S. (2009). Can We Make Our Students Smarter?, Education Canada. The debate over whether intelligence is largely fixed or malleable is not over. What is most exciting, however, is the research from social psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience that is highlighting just how malleable intelligence is. Differences in achievement among racial, ethnic, or gender groups have often been seen as evidence that intelligence is largely hereditary and fixed. However, there is now very strong evidence that when testing conditions are altered, the racial, ethnic, and gender gaps in achievement tests are greatly reduced. A recent study with college students testifies to the continuing plasticity of intellectual ability. Researchers are rapidly learning more and more about the foundations of intellectual ability, and as they do, they are learning more and more about how to foster it. In the past, giftedness tended to be portrayed as a global and stable attribute. As a result, experts in the field sought more to measure giftedness than to develop it. The emerging view, in stark contrast, recognizes that giftedness or talent is often very specific, that it can wax and wane over time, and that one of the most exciting questions facing educators today is how to encourage and sustain it. If intelligence can in fact be fostered in students, how do teachers go about it? This article offers some suggestions.