Changing Mindsets of Eighth and Ninth Graders Towards Growth: A study on the effectiveness of classroom interventions on mindsets
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Classroom interventions on the growth mindset are proven to be not always as effective as expected. Therefore, this study examines the actual mindset change classroom interventions achieve with eighth- and ninth-grade students. In the mentor class, a mindset intervention of two lessons presented students how mindsets work, what mindsets are and teaches them how to adapt their self-perception; e.g., share gained knowledge and analyse feedback. According to pre- and post-test questionnaires in the physics and mentor class (N=32) and focus group interviews after the intervention (N=6), mindset change did not occur directly after the intervention. Therefore, the mindset intervention was not effective in both direct and transfer situations. The pre- and post-tests indicate a slightly changed perception in class A and an unchanged students’ perception in class B. The interviews provide two insights into the cause. Firstly, after the intervention the students did not use mindset as a concept correctly, therefore the teaching goals remain unachieved. Secondly, according to eighth and ninth graders, an effective classroom intervention has four crucial elements: (1) a clear purpose, (2) clear teaching method, (3) relevant content, and (4) high variation in lesson activities. These elements result in guidelines for designing an effective intervention in future research.