Developing a Research Agenda for the Transfer of Mindsets in Education and Employment
We are conducting a landscape analysis of the most pressing challenges related to mindsets, developing a conceptual framework from which to address these challenges, identifying the most important research questions and viable study designs, developing collaborative partnerships with educators and employers, and conducting small-scale studies to begin testing these ideas. These efforts set the stage for a larger study examining mindsets across multiple pathways to employment.
One series of studies associated with this grant considers whether mindsets, such as tenacity and purpose, developed during a summer camp experience would transfer to improved learning outcomes during the academic year. To facilitate the transfer of these life lessons, some campers completed an activity that prompted them to reflect on the life lessons from camp and apply them to challenges in school. To our knowledge, this is one of the first ever randomized, experimental tests of the transfer hypothesis around which out-of-school time experiences are based. Not only were students randomly assigned to attend camp, but they were followed longitudinally during their transition to high school, a time of tremendous difficulty for many students.