Intervention details

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Changing Mindsets

No impact for Primary reading
No impact for Primary maths

Intervention description

Changing Mindsets is a family of interventions provided by Growing Learners at the University of Portsmouth, which seek to improve academic attainment by supporting pupils to develop a growth mindset: the belief that intelligence is not a fixed characteristic and can be increased through effort.

The interventions are based on research which shows that teaching children a growth mindset (as opposed to a fixed mindset) leads to greater resilience and has a positive impact on their motivation and achievement. The whole school/college Mindset package includes the Growing Learners Manual which features lesson plans and ready-to-use materials, along with an assessment package to measure the mindset of pupils before and after an intervention. Schools signing up to the package also receive 12 months access to the Growing Learners advice and support service.

Professional development/training

A day training in Mindsets for all staff included in the whole school/college mindset package. This introduces the 6 week Mindset programme and helps the school consider how to develop a growth culture across the institution.

Evidence Summary

The Education Endowment Foundation ran a project in 2013/2014 investigating the effectiveness of Changing Mindsets, which found that a pupil workshop version of the intervention had a positive impact on maths and English at KS2 level. The study found a mean effect size of +0.18 in primary reading and +0.1 in primary maths.

These positive findings were not replicated in the version of the intervention which just involved a professional development course for teachers, as this showed no evidence of impact on maths or English at KS2 level.

The two studies found a mean effect size of -0.06 for primary reading and +0.02 for primary maths.

No impact for Primary reading
No. of studies 2
No. of students 1,791
Average effect size -0.06
No impact for Primary maths
No. of studies 2
No. of students 1,791
Average effect size +0.02

Key research

The Education Endowment Foundation is now running a further project to test whether Changing Mindset sessions have an impact when delivered directly by teachers, the evaluation will be available in autumn 2018.

Key stages

  • Early Years
  • Key Stage 1
  • Key Stage 2
  • Key Stage 3
  • Key Stage 4
  • Post 16


£1800 (plus travel and accommodation for two trainers if 20 miles outside of Portsmouth)

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