Monthly Archives: December 2014

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.  )

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.

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.

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.

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:…
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:…
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.

Angela Duckworth’s Research

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.
Seider, Scott (2013). Effort Determines Success at Roxbury Prep, Phi Delta Kappan. A middle school in Boston designs its curriculum and culture–from its nightly homework assignments to its Powerful Speaking Extravaganza–upon a foundation of strengthening students' motivation and ability to do the hard work necessary to accomplish their goals. Roxbury Prep's emphasis on perseverance finds support in a robust body of education research. Studies of gifted children have found perseverance to be a stronger predictor than intelligence of success in adulthood, as has historical research on the trajectories of geniuses such as Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein. Likewise, a number of scholars have found that a key commonality in high-achieving artists, athletes, chess players, and mathematicians is an ability and willingness to put in long hours of time and effort. Most recently, Angela Duckworth and colleagues found that an individual's grit and self-discipline are stronger predictors than IQ of success in populations ranging from urban middle school students to West Point cadets.
Socol, Ira (2014). Taking a Closer Look at the "Grit" Narratives, Knowledge Quest. In this article Ira Socol explores the pros and cons of Paul Tough's "How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character." As Tough told Valerie Strauss, "The book is about two things: first, an emerging body of research that shows the importance of so-called non-cognitive skills in children's success; and second, a new set of experimental interventions that are trying to use that research to help improve outcomes for children, especially children growing up in disadvantage. Some of this research is decades old; some is very new. Part of what I'm trying to do in the book is to show the connections between fields of research that are generally kept quite separate, including various branches of economics, neuroscience, pediatrics, and psychology" (Strauss 2012). Socol asserts it is an important debunking of much of the so-called "research" behind the work of thirty-five years of "educational reformers," going back to the start of the Reagan Administration. And, he says, it's an important book because of its investigation of allostatic load [Allostatic load is the body's response to many kinds of stress] and what that concept requires of educators. But, Socol argues, it is a dangerous book because Tough continues to look for simple answers that will make life comfortable for his social class. It is a dangerous book because it never really asks tough questions. It is a dangerous book because it holds out those old New England Calvinist ideals–grit and hard work, the "by your own bootstraps" way to the top–as the path for the poor, without ever really acknowledging that the rich need none of that. Socol suggests that what children need is not "grit" but abundance–and slack. Herein he describes these concepts as they relate to "grit theory" and explores the impact that the works of Paul Thomas, Angela Duckworth, and Tough have on the discussion. He then addresses the origins of the myths of the Protestant Work Ethic and identity racism in the American power structure. Socol concludes by describing two examples of providing students with abundance in schools.
Hanushek, Erik A., Ed.; Machin, Stephen J., Ed.; Woessmann, Ludger, Ed. (2011). Handbook of the Economics of Education. Volume 4, Elsevier. What is the value of an education? Volume 4 of the Handbooks in the Economics of Education combines recent data with new methodologies to examine this and related questions from diverse perspectives. School choice and school competition, educator incentives, the college premium, and other considerations help make sense of the investments and returns associated with education. Volume editors Eric A. Hanushek (Stanford), Stephen Machin (University College London) and Ludger Woessmann (Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich) draw clear lines between newly emerging research on the economics of education and prior work. In conjunction with Volume 3, they measure people's current understanding of educational acquisition and its economic and social effects. This volume contains: (1) Personality Psychology and Economics (Mathilde Almlund, Angela L. Duckworth, James Heckman, and Tim Kautz); (2) Non-Production Benefits of Education: Crime, Health, and Good Citizenship (Lance Lochner); (3) Overeducation and Mismatch in the Labor Market (Edwin Leuven and Hessel Oosterbeek); (4) Migration and Education (Christian Dustmann and Albrecht Glitz); (5) Inequality, Human Capital Formation and the Process of Development (Oded Galor); (6) The Design of Performance Pay in Education (Derek Neal); (7) Educational Vouchers in International Contexts (Eric Bettinger); (8) Dropouts and Diplomas: The Divergence in Collegiate Outcomes (John Bound and Sarah E. Turner); and (9) The Political Economy of Education Funding (Gerhard Glomm, B. Ravikumar, and Ioana C. Schiopu). [For related reports, see Volume 1 (ED527053), Volume 2 (ED527054), and Volume 3 (ED527055).]
Robertson-Kraft, Claire; Duckworth, Angela (2014). True Grit: Trait-Level Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals Predicts Effectiveness and Retention among Novice Teachers, Teachers College Record. Background/Context: Surprisingly little progress has been made in linking teacher effectiveness and retention to factors observable at the time of hire. The rigors of teaching, particularly in low-income school districts, suggest the importance of personal qualities that have so far been difficult to measure objectively. Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: In this study, we examine the predictive validity of personal qualities not typically collected by school districts during the hiring process. Specifically, we use a psychological framework to explore how biographical data on grit, a disposition toward perseverance and passion for long-term goals, explains variance in novice teachers' effectiveness and retention. Research Design: In two prospective, longitudinal samples of novice teachers assigned to schools in low-income districts (N = 154 and N = 307, respectively), raters blind to outcomes followed a 7-point rubric to rate grit from information on college activities and work experience extracted from teachers' résumés. We used independent-samples, t-tests, and binary logistic regression models to predict teacher effectiveness and retention from these grit ratings as well as from other information (e.g., SAT scores, college GPA, and interview ratings of leadership potential) available at the time of hire. Conclusions/Recommendations: Grittier teachers outperformed their less gritty colleagues and were less likely to leave their classrooms midyear. Notably, no other variables in our analysis predicted either effectiveness or retention. These findings contribute to a better understanding of what leads some novice teachers to outperform others and remain committed to the profession. In addition to informing policy decisions surrounding teacher recruitment and development, this investigation highlights the potential of a psychological framework to explain why some individuals are more successful than others in meeting the rigorous demands of teaching.
Tsukayama, Eli; Duckworth, Angela Lee; Kim, Betty (2013). Domain-Specific Impulsivity in School-Age Children, Developmental Science. Impulsivity is a salient individual difference in children with well-established predictive validity for life outcomes. The current investigation proposes that impulsive behaviors vary systematically by domain. In a series of studies with ethnically and socioeconomically diverse samples of middle school students, we find that schoolwork-related and interpersonal-related impulsivity, as observed by teachers, parents, and the students themselves, are distinct, moderately correlated behavioral tendencies. Each demonstrates differentiated relationships with dimensions of childhood temperament, Big Five personality factors, and outcomes, such as report card grades. Implications for theoretical conceptions of impulsivity as well as for practical applications (e.g. domain-specific interventions) are discussed.
Duckworth, Angela L. (2009). (Over and) beyond High-Stakes Testing, American Psychologist. Sackett, Borneman, and Connelly's article and recent meta-analyses (e.g., Kuncel & Hezlett, 2007) should lay to rest any doubt over whether high-stakes standardized tests predict important academic and professional outcomes–they do. The challenge now is to identify noncognitive individual differences that determine the same outcomes. Noncognitive is, of course, a misnomer. Every psychological process is cognitive in the sense of relying on the processing of information of some kind. Why do so many psychologists, including myself, resort to the term noncognitive despite its obvious inappropriateness?
Duckworth, Angela L.; Gendler, Tamar Szabó; Gross, James J. (2014). Self-Control in School-Age Children, Educational Psychologist. Conflicts between immediately rewarding activities and more enduringly valued goals abound in the lives of school-age children. Such conflicts call upon children to exercise self-control, a competence that depends in part on the mastery of metacognitive, prospective strategies. The "process model of self-control" organizes these strategies into five families corresponding to sequential phases in the process by which undesired and desired impulses lose or gather force over time. "Situation selection" and "situation modification" strategies involve choosing or changing physical or social circumstances. "Attentional deployment" and "cognitive change" strategies involve altering whether and how objective features of the situation are mentally represented. Finally, "response modulation" strategies involve the direct suppression or enhancement of impulses. The process model of self-control predicts that strategies deployed earlier in the process of impulse generation and regulation generally will be more effective than those deployed later. Implications of this self-control perspective for school-age children are considered.
Duckworth, Angela L.; Quinn, Patrick D.; Tsukayama, Eli (2012). What "No Child Left Behind" Leaves behind: The Roles of IQ and Self-Control in Predicting Standardized Achievement Test Scores and Report Card Grades, Journal of Educational Psychology. The increasing prominence of standardized testing to assess student learning motivated the current investigation. We propose that standardized achievement test scores assess competencies determined more by intelligence than by self-control, whereas report card grades assess competencies determined more by self-control than by intelligence. In particular, we suggest that intelligence helps students learn and solve problems independent of formal instruction, whereas self-control helps students study, complete homework, and behave positively in the classroom. Two longitudinal, prospective studies of middle school students support predictions from this model. In both samples, IQ predicted changes in standardized achievement test scores over time better than did self-control, whereas self-control predicted changes in report card grades over time better than did IQ. As expected, the effect of self-control on changes in report card grades was mediated in Study 2 by teacher ratings of homework completion and classroom conduct. In a third study, ratings of middle school teachers about the content and purpose of standardized achievement tests and report card grades were consistent with the proposed model. Implications for pedagogy and public policy are discussed.
MacCann, Carolyn; Duckworth, Angela Lee; Roberts, Richard D. (2009). Empirical Identification of the Major Facets of Conscientiousness, Learning and Individual Differences. Conscientiousness is often found to predict academic outcomes, but is defined differently by different models of personality. High school students (N = 291) completed a large number of Conscientiousness items from different models and the Big Five Inventory (BFI). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis of the items uncovered eight facets: Industriousness, Perfectionism, Tidiness, Procrastination Refrainment, Control, Cautiousness, Task Planning, and Perseverance. Correlations between these facets and the BFI revealed that all facets related strongly to Conscientiousness. Criterion-related validity was demonstrated by relationships between facets and academic outcomes such as grade-point-average, disciplinary infractions, and attainment of academic honors. Compared to BFI Conscientiousness, Industriousness and Perfectionism showed significantly stronger prediction of absenteeism and cognitive test scores, respectively. Results are discussed in terms of the usefulness of facet scores, the interpretation of personality scores for selection, and the development of intervention programs.
Duckworth, Angela Lee; Grant, Heidi; Loew, Benjamin; Oettingen, Gabriele; Gollwitzer, Peter M. (2011). Self-Regulation Strategies Improve Self-Discipline in Adolescents: Benefits of Mental Contrasting and Implementation Intentions, Educational Psychology. Adolescents struggle with setting and striving for goals that require sustained self-discipline. Research on adults indicates that goal commitment is enhanced by mental contrasting (MC), a strategy involving the cognitive elaboration of a desired future with relevant obstacles of present reality. Implementation intentions (II), which identify the action one will take when a goal-relevant opportunity arises, represent a strategy shown to increase goal attainment when commitment is high. This study tests the effect of mental contrasting combined with implementation intentions (MCII) on successful goal implementation in adolescents. Sixty-six 2nd-year high school students preparing to take a high-stakes exam in the fall of their third year were randomly assigned to complete either a 30-minute written mental contrasting with implementation intentions intervention or a placebo control writing exercise. Students in the intervention condition completed more than 60% more practice questions than did students in the control condition. These findings point to the utility of directly teaching to adolescents mental contrasting with implementation intentions as a self-regulatory strategy of successful goal pursuit.
Duckworth, Angela Lee; Seligman, Martin E. P. (2006). Self-Discipline Gives Girls the Edge: Gender in Self-Discipline, Grades, and Achievement Test Scores, Journal of Educational Psychology. Throughout elementary, middle, and high school, girls earn higher grades than boys in all major subjects. Girls, however, do not out perform boys on achievement or IQ tests. To date, explanations for the underprediction of girls' GPAs by standardized tests have focused on gender differences favoring boys on such tests. The authors' investigation suggests an additional explanation: Girls are more self-disciplined, and this advantage is more relevant to report card grades than to achievement or aptitude tests. Eighth-grade girls at an urban magnet school were more self-disciplined than their male counterparts according to delay of gratification measures and self-report, teacher, and parent ratings. Whereas girls earned higher grades in all courses, they did only marginally better on an achievement test and worse on an IQ test. Mediation analyses suggested girls earned higher GPAs at least in part because they were more self-disciplined.
Borghans, Lex; Duckworth, Angela Lee; Heckman, James J.; ter Weel, Bas (2008). The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits, Journal of Human Resources. This paper explores the interface between personality psychology and economics. We examine the predictive power of personality and the stability of personality traits over the life cycle. We develop simple analytical frameworks for interpreting the evidence in personality psychology and suggest promising avenues for future research. The paper proceeds as follows. Section I is the Introduction. Section II defines cognitive ability and personality traits and describes how these concepts are measured. Section III considers methodological issues that arise in interpreting the measurements. Section IV presents evidence by psychologists and economists on basic economic parameters. Section V examines the predictive power of the traits studied by personality psychologists who, in general, are a distinct body of scholars from the psychologists measuring economic preference parameters. Section VI examines the evidence on the evolution of preference parameters and personality traits over the life cycle. We summarize recent work in psychology that demonstrates stability in preference parameters across diverse settings. Section VII presents a framework for interpreting personality and economic parameters. Recent work in behavioral economics and psychology that seeks to integrate economics and psychology focuses almost exclusively on preference parameters. In contrast, we present a broader framework that includes constraints, skill acquisition, and learning as well as conventional preference parameters. Section VIII concludes by summarizing the paper and suggesting an agenda for future research.

National Robotics Initiative

Funding Opportunity Number: 15-505
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
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: 2015-01-14
Award Ceiling: $3,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 70

Description: The goal of the National Robotics Initiative is to accelerate the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside or cooperatively with people.  Innovative robotics research and applications emphasizing the realization of such co-robots working in symbiotic relationships with human partners is supported by multiple agencies of the federal government including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.  S.  Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.  S.  Department of Defense (DOD).  The purpose of this program is the development of this next generation of robotics, to advance the capability and usability of such systems and artifacts, and to encourage existing and new communities to focus on innovative application areas.  It will address the entire life cycle from fundamental research and development to manufacturing and deployment.  Questions concerning a particular project's focus, direction and relevance to a participating funding organization should be addressed to that agency's point of contact listed in section VIII of this solicitation.
Methods for the establishment and infusion of robotics in educational curricula and research to gain a better understanding of the long-term social, behavioral and economic implications of co-robots across all areas of human activity are important parts of this initiative.  Collaboration between academic, industry, non-profit and other organizations is strongly encouraged to establish better linkages between fundamental science and technology development, deployment and use.
Only one class of proposals will be considered in response to this solicitation; there will not be separate competitions for small, medium, and large proposals.  Please refer to section III of this solicitation for budget size information.

Mindfulness – CBS News

2014-12-14: Anderson Cooper reports on what it's like to try to achieve "mindfulness," a self-awareness scientists say is very healthy, but rarely achieved in today's world of digital distractions

The following is a script from "Mindfulness" which aired on Dec. 14, 2014. Anderson Cooper is the correspondent. Denise Schrier Cetta, producer. Matthew Danowski , editor.

Our lives are filled with distractions — email, Twitter, texting we're constantly connected to technology, rarely alone with just our thoughts. Which is probably why there's a growing movement in America to train people to get around the stresses of daily life.

It's a practice called "mindfulness" and it basically means being aware of your thoughts, physical sensations, and surroundings.

Tonight, we'll introduce you to the man who's largely responsible for mindfulness gaining traction. His name is Jon Kabat-Zinn and he thinks mindfulness is the answer for people who are so overwhelmed by life, they feel they aren't really living at all.

Jon Kabat-Zinn: There are a lot of different ways to talk about mindfulness, but what it really means is awareness.

Anderson Cooper: Is it being present?

Jon Kabat-Zinn: It is being present. That's exactly what it is.

See Video Here.

Jobs Plus Pilot Program

Funding Opportunity Number: FR-5800-N-24
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Housing
Eligible Applicants: Others (see text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility" for clarification)
Agency Name: HUD
Closing Date: 2014-12-17
Award Ceiling: $3,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 8

Description: Purpose of the Program.  The purpose of Jobs Plus Pilot program is to develop locally-based approaches to increase earnings and advance employment outcomes such as work readiness, employer linkages, job placement, educational advancement and financial literacy.  The place-based Jobs Plus Pilot program addresses entrenched poverty among public housing residents by offering targeted developments with various incentives and supports including income disregards for working families, employer linkages, job placement and counseling, educational advancement, and financial counseling.