On July 12, 2017, PERTS will join many other websites, Internet users, and online communities to sound the alarm about the FCC’s rollback of net neutrality. PERTS’s mission is to advance educational excellence and equity on a large scale, and the Internet is our medium. Without fair Internet access for everyone, we simply cannot accomplish our mission. That’s why we’re adding our voice to the call for the FCC to abandon their current course.

The current FCC plan to classify Internet Service Providers (ISPs) under Title I will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T the power to slow down or block websites and charge content creators extra fees to reach their audience. We believe these powers would be ripe for abuse and make it more difficult for educators and students to use and learn from resources like the PERTS Mindset Kit and so many others. …


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New research conducted by PERTS in collaboration with Jason Okonofua and Greg Walton at Stanford University found that a brief intervention designed to increase teacher empathy:

The Rise of a Punitive Culture of Discipline

The past 25 years have shown a dramatic change in the culture of discipline in schools. From the adoption of zero-tolerance policies to increased funding for metal detectors and guards in schools, discipline has become more punitive and severe.

A major consequence of this punitive culture shift has been an increase in suspensions, which have been consistently linked to harmful outcomes for students such as high-school dropout, disengagement, and even an increased likelihood of incarceration. Especially unjust is the finding that suspensions are also racially biased — black students are three times more likely to receive suspensions compared to their white classmates. (For more information on why, this article from Stanford News is very helpful.) …


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A first grade teacher gives her students goal-focused feedback to help them develop their writing skills.

New research suggests that what teachers actually do in the classroom is more important than their beliefs when it comes to helping students develop a growth mindset.

What is a growth mindset?

A growth mindset, the belief that intelligence can be significantly developed, is often contrasted with a fixed mindset, the belief that intelligence is a fixed trait that can’t change very much. Decades of research show a powerful link between growth mindset and achievement — when students have a growth mindset, they do better in school. (To learn more about growth mindset, see “Mindset Misconceptions: Trying Hard ≠ Growth Mindset”)

No one is born with a fixed or growth mindset — Our beliefs are shaped by the subtle and not so subtle messages we receive from our environment. These messages help us understand what is valued in a given context, which in turn can shape our goals and behaviors. They can lead us to focus solely on our performance, or they can help us focus on our growth and improvement. Importantly, our beliefs can change over time and can be different in different contexts and in different domains. For students — their beliefs are often shaped by school and classroom policies and practices. …


A Q&A with a 3rd grade teacher

If you work in education, there is a pretty good chance you have heard the term “growth mindset.” Popularized by Dr. Carol Dweck in her 2006 book, ‘Mindset,’ growth mindset initiatives have since spread to classrooms, schools, and districts across the country.

A growth mindset is simply the belief that intelligence can be developed. …


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Sixty percent of students in 2-year colleges are required to take remedial math courses. Of these students, over 75% drop or fail the courses. What’s happening? Are the courses simply too challenging? Or is there something else going on behind the scenes?

Many of these students believe they are, “just not a math person.” Students who believe this are less likely to pass required math classes and are, therefore, less likely to graduate from college — even compared with other students who have the same initial skill levels.

Are these students right to think that academic success is simply beyond their reach?


“How can we motivate and engage students?”

It’s a difficult question that many educators grapple with. Why is Anna jumping out of her seat to ask a question, while Michael seems unfocused and withdrawn? There are many factors that come into play when we think about motivation and engagement — previous student experience, developmental differences, and of course large structural factors like poverty and trauma.

Over the past couple of decades, there has been a growing body of evidence showing that we should also consider students’ beliefs about the nature of intelligence when we think about why some students are more motivated and engaged than others. …


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Parents always ask us,

“What can I do to help my kids develop a growth mindset?”

A growth mindset is simply the belief that you can develop your intelligence. More and more, parents are learning about the important role that a growth mindset can play in children’s academic success. …


A study on overcoming student boredom with purposeful learning

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Unfortunately, learning is not always an exciting and pleasant process. In many subjects, particularly STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) courses, important skill-building tasks are often perceived as repetitive and tedious, such as completing math problems or balancing chemistry equations. For teachers, motivating students to persist and complete these academic exercises can be a challenge.

Why, then, do some students press on, while others become distracted or give up?

Recent research suggests that a prosocial purpose for learning — a goal to learn in order to empower oneself to have a positive impact on others — can help students regulate their attention and behavior. …

About

PERTS

Stanford University's center on learning mindsets. Changing the way students think about school to help them reach their full potential.

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