NYU’s Aronson Wins IES Grant on Enhancing Student Performance via Intelligence Theory


Research into the psychology of intelligence has demonstrated the extent to which students’ academic performance improves when they are taught that intelligence is malleable and that people can get smarter in response to intellectual effort. Building on this research, a team of psychologists led by New York University’s Joshua Aronson has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to develop teacher-friendly materials for use with 8th and 9th grade students from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The study’s aim is to help 8th and 9th grade students, who are notoriously prone to motivation problems, to think, feel, and behave in ways that promote good learning.

Aronson’s co-principal investigators on the project are Jennifer Mangels, associate professor of psychology at Baruch College, and Matthew McGlone, associate professor of communications at the University of Texas at Austin. IES is a branch of the U.S. Department of Education that funds research studies on ways to improve academic achievement.

Aronson’s research over the past decade had shown how intensive interventions that lead students to adopt the theory that people get smarter in response to intellectual effort produce large improvements in student learning, engagement, test scores, and grades. Yet scalable versions of the interventions that any teacher can employ curr 500

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