Elisabeth Barnett, Osvaldo Avila, and Fenot Aklog—National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University
This study examined the ways in which schools offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme foster and develop students’ non-cognitive assets, with a particular focus on academic mindsets. Academic mindsets are the “beliefs, attitudes, or ways of perceiving oneself in relation to learning and intellectual work that support academic performance” (Farrington et al, 2012). This study was conducted using a multiple case study design, implemented in four schools—two in the United States and two in Peru. Data were collected using student surveys and by conducting school visits that included interviews and observations. The researchers found positive and statistically significant associations between school environment and academic mindsets and between classroom practices and academic mindsets. The study also highlights school practices that support the development of growth mindsets, student belonging and self-confidence. Most, if not all, teachers reported that they believe that all students can learn rigorous course material and that student effort in the classroom is key to academic success.