Helping students develop a growth mindset
Instructors often focus on content and pedagogical approaches to improve student engagement and learning in physics courses. However, students’ motivational characteristics can also play an important role in their engagement and success in physics. For example, students’ views about whether intelligence in physics is “fixed” or “malleable,” their sense of belonging in a physics class, and their self-efficacy can affect engagement and learning. I will discuss prior research studies that show how different types of interventions (e.g., social belonging and growth mindset) have improved the motivation and learning of all students, especially women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields and how these interventions can be adapted and implemented in physics classes. I will also describe a growth mindset intervention that has been incorporated in introductory physics courses and findings from the intervention. The types of interventions discussed in this workshop are short, requiring less than one hour of regular class or recitation time even though they have the potential to impact student outcomes significantly.