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More Than Growth Mindset: Individual and Interactive Links Among Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Adolescents’ Ability Mindsets, Metacognitive Skills, and Math Engagement

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Abstract

This article used self‐regulated learning as a theoretical lens to examine the individual and interactive associations between a growth mindset and metacognition on math engagement for adolescent students from socioeconomically disadvantaged schools. Across three longitudinal studies with 207, 897, and 2,325 11‐ to 15‐year‐old adolescents, students’ beliefs that intelligence is malleable and capable of growth over time only predicted higher math engagement among students possessing the metacognitive skills to reflect upon and be aware of their learning progress. The results suggest that metacognitive skills may be necessary for students to realize their growth mindset. Thus, growth mindsets and metacognitive skills should be promoted together to capitalize on the mutually reinforcing effects of each, especially among students in socioeconomically disadvantaged schools.

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... Three longitudinal studies were conducted with 207, 897, and 2,325 eleven to fifteen year-old U.S. students from socioeconomically disadvantaged schools to examine students' mindsets, metacognitive skills, and mathematics engagement (Wang et al., 2021). Across the three studies, students' growth mindset beliefs only predicted higher mathematics achievement among students possessing the metacognitive skills to reflect upon and be aware of their learning progress. ...
... Thus, metacognitive skills may be necessary for students to realize the benefits of a growth mindset. It is interesting to note, students from the low-SES schools had lower metacognitive skills on average than their peers in high-SES schools, but there were fewer differences in students' growth mindsets between low and high-SES schools (Wang et al., 2021). Research has shown that students from low SES schools frequently encounter underqualified mathematics teachers, limited learning resources, and stereotype threat (Nasir, 2020), all of which undermine students' access to mathematics learning opportunities. ...
... Research has shown that students from low SES schools frequently encounter underqualified mathematics teachers, limited learning resources, and stereotype threat (Nasir, 2020), all of which undermine students' access to mathematics learning opportunities. Wang et al. (2021) have made an important point that growth mindset is only one factor to consider. -Hence, it might be risky to solely focus on promoting growth mindsets without adequate support for maintaining it. ...
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Growth mindset has received more focus in schools in the past fifteen years as a possible way to improve various educational outcomes. Helping students to believe in the malleability of intelligence and the potential to improve in ability and various human qualities is important. Students with growth mindsets set self-improvement as achievement goals, use all of their resources, seek feedback, attribute failure to something that is under their control, and work harder when faced with setbacks. For the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects these beliefs and outcomes of a growth mindset are especially important. The notion that only some students can do well in STEM subjects is important to counter. Growth mindset research has most often concentrated on students beyond middle school. Given the possible benefits of a growth mindset, the elementary and middle grades should receive more focus with growth mindset research and interventions. The purpose of this article to review the research on growth mindset in K-8 STEM education, science education, and mathematics education since 2007. Directions for future research are discussed including the importance of teachers in growth mindset interventions and integrated STEM education lessons as a method for students to develop and internalize growth mindset orientations.
... It is important to name when a student has worked hard through a problem or concept successfully to help them be aware of how their perseverance in productive struggle was successful. An important skill to successfully engage in productive struggle is the ability to employ metacognitive strategies (Wang et al., 2021). ...
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This volume contains the papers presented at the International Conference Building on the Past to Prepare for the Future held from August 8-13, 2022, in King’s College, Cambridge, UK. It was the 16th conference organised by The Mathematics Education for the Future Project - an international educational and philanthropic project founded in 1986 and dedicated to innovation in mathematics, statistics, science and computer education world wide.
... However, research on growth mindset and students' learning outcomes produced mixed findings (Bostwick, Collie, Martin, & Durksen, 2017;Li & Bates, 2019;O'Rourke, Haimovitz, Ballweber, Dweck, & Popović, 2014). A recent longitudinal study found that students' growth mindset only predicted better mathematics achievement among those who had metacognitive skills that allowed them to reflect on their learning progress (Wang, Zepeda, Qin, Del Toro, & Binning, 2021). We argue that metacognition could be a key to actualize the benefit of the growth mindset. ...
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Students from higher–socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds show a persistent advantage in academic outcomes over lower-SES students. It is possible that students’ beliefs about academic ability, or mindsets, play some role in contributing to these disparities. Data from a recent nationally representative sample of ninth-grade students in U.S. public schools provided evidence that higher SES was associated with fewer fixed beliefs about academic ability (a group difference of .22 standard deviations). Also, there was a negative association between a fixed mindset and grades that was similar regardless of a student’s SES. Finally, student mindsets were a significant but small factor in explaining the existing relationship between SES and achievement. Altogether, mindsets appear to be associated with socioeconomic circumstances and academic achievement; however, the vast majority of the existing socioeconomic achievement gap in the U.S. is likely driven by the root causes of inequality.
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Extracts available on Google Books (see link below). For integral text, go to publisher's website : http://www.elsevierdirect.com/product.jsp?isbn=9780121098902
Chapter
This chapter serves as an introduction to the history and study of student engagement. We describe the evolution of the construct of engagement and disciplinary differences in theories and use of the engagement construct. We highlight how our work on engagement, arising out of dropout intervention, has changed over the last decade. In addition, we delineate current issues in the study of engagement. The chapter ends with a discussion of future directions to advance the theoretical and applied use of student engagement to enhance outcomes for youth.
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Publisher Summary There is considerable agreement about the importance of self-regulation to human survival. There is disagreement about how it can be analyzed and defined in a scientifically useful way. A social cognitive perspective differs markedly from theoretical traditions that seek to define self-regulation as a singular internal state, trait, or stage that is genetically endowed or personally discovered. Instead, it is defined in terms of context-specific processes that are used cyclically to achieve personal goals. These processes entail more than metacognitive knowledge and skill; they also include affective and behavioral processes, and a resilient sense of self-efficacy to control them. The cyclical interdependence of these processes, reactions, and beliefs is described in terms of three sequential phases: forethought, performance or volitional control, and self-reflection. An important feature of this cyclical model is that it can explain dysfunctions in self-regulation, as well as exemplary achievements. Dysfunctions occur because of the unfortunate reliance on reactive methods of self-regulation instead of proactive methods, which can profoundly change the course of cyclical learning and performance. An essential issue confronting all theories of self-regulation is how this capability or capacity can be developed or optimized. Social cognitive views place particular emphasis on the role of socializing agents in the development of self-regulation, such as parents, teachers, coaches, and peers. At an early age, children become aware of the value of social modeling experiences, and they rely heavily on them when acquiring needed skills.
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In this article, we review knowledge about student engagement and look ahead to the future of study in this area. We begin by describing how researchers in the field define and study student engagement. In particular, we describe the levels, contexts, and dimensions that constitute the measurement of engagement, summarize the contexts that shape engagement and the outcomes that result from it, and articulate person-centered approaches for analyzing engagement. We conclude by addressing limitations to the research and providing recommendations for study. Specifically, we point to the importance of incorporating more work on how learning-related emotions, personality characteristics, prior learning experiences, shared values across contexts, and engagement in nonacademic activities influence individual differences in student engagement. We also stress the need to improve our understanding of the nuances involved in developing engagement over time by incorporating more extensive longitudinal analyses, intervention trials, research on affective neuroscience, and interactions among levels and dimensions of engagement.
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Adolescents face many academic and emotional challenges in middle school, but notable differences are evident in how well they adapt. What predicts adolescents' academic and emotional outcomes during this period? One important factor might be adolescents' implicit theories about whether intelligence and emotions can change. The current study examines how these theories affect academic and emotional outcomes. One hundred fifteen students completed surveys throughout middle school, and their grades and course selections were obtained from school records. Students who believed that intelligence could be developed earned higher grades and were more likely to move to advanced math courses over time. Students who believed that emotions could be controlled reported fewer depressive symptoms and, if they began middle school with lower well-being, were more likely to feel better over time. These findings illustrate the power of adolescents' implicit theories, suggesting exciting new pathways for intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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This study investigates the effects of metacognitive instruction in mathematics on low-achieving third to eighth grade students. The study was conducted in 18 classes in two elementary schools from the same district with a majority of Hispanic population. Students were randomly assigned to the 18 classes. Twelve of these classes were randomly assigned to the experimental group. One class per grade level was assigned to the control group. Results on learning outcomes showed significant effects favoring the experimental group independent of grade level. These results indicate that metacognitive instruction could be tailored to regular classrooms where the majority are low-achievers. Recommendations on how regular classroom teachers might implement the methods are discussed.
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Metacognition, motivation, and affect are components of self-regulated learning (SRL) that interact. The “metacognitive and affective model of self-regulated learning” (the MASRL model) distinguishes two levels of functioning in SRL, namely, the Person level and the Task × Person level. At the Person level interactions between trait-like characteristics such as cognitive ability, metacognitive knowledge and skills, self-concept, perceptions of control, attitudes, emotions, and motivation in the form of expectancy-value beliefs and achievement goal orientations are hypothesized. These person characteristics guide top-down self-regulation. At the Task × Person level, that is, the level at which SRL events take place, metacognitive experiences, such as feeling of difficulty, and online affective states play a major role in task motivation and bottom-up self-regulation. Reciprocal relations between the two levels of functioning in SRL are also posited. The implications of the MASRL model for research and theory are discussed.