Stanford, ClassDojo Offer Growth Mindset Program to Community Colleges

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Through a partnership with ClassDojo, Stanford University’s Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS) is hoping to encourage a “growth mindset” in students across the country.

The effort is meant to help more students succeed in their efforts to attain a community college degree.  In order to do so, PERTS is inviting community colleges across the country to take part in the College Perspectives Program, which focuses on helping students to gain that “growth mindset.”

According to a news release, the idea behind a growth mindset, which was researched and made popular by Professor Carol Dweck and colleagues at Stanford University, is that one’s intelligence and abilities can be established over a long period of time.  The opposite of this would be a fixed mindset, in which these abilities are pre-set and unchangeable.  Dweck’s research shows that students who follow a growth mindset are more likely to push through challenges than are students who follow a fixed mindset when faced with a setback, reports Joshua Bolkan for The Journal.

An earlier version of the program that took place between 2012 and 2014 with over 1,400 community college students found an increase in the rate at which students enrolled full-time by more than 15% as well as an increase to the rate at which students were earning credit in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses by 20%.

Looking at the results, PERTS decided to expand the program to thousands of community college students across the country.  The results of this next program, which will be the largest study of its kind at community colleges, will be observed closely, writes Laura Devaney for eCampusNews.

As it stands, only 23% of students who enroll in a community college earn an associate’s degree or transfer to a four-year college within six years.

“How can community colleges use growth mindset research to help their students? The College Perspectives Program is the best example yet of how this can be done,” said Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. “I’m excited to see the impact it will have on students’ mindsets and achievement.”

For its part, ClassDojo is creating a series of five animated videos that teachers will be able to access free of charge.  These will be the first in a series of videos titled “Big Ideas” geared toward bringing new research into the classrooms through characters that are well-known and loved by children.

The series of videos will follow Mojo, the mascot monster for the platform, along with his friend Katie, as they look to discover the ideas behind the growth mindset.  Each video offers a lesson plan allowing for activities-based learning.

“When children believe their abilities are tied to things they can’t change, the windows of opportunity surrounding them shut one by one,” said Dave Paunesku, executive director of Stanford PERTS, in a prepared statement. “ClassDojo’s reach and mission to help teachers, parents and students transform education from the ground up made it the natural partner for us to share this concept with teachers at a massive scale.”

ClassDojo is a platform used in half of all schools across the country that works to create a community of teachers, students, and parents for each classroom.