Growth Mindset Pilot Intervention in South Africa

Type of Research:

evaluation of an intervention


Students living in townships in the Western Cape, South Africa are faced with academic difficulties, such as failing grades and not graduating from high schools. The purpose of this study is to pilot test a growth mindset intervention for elementary and high school students to see whether the program could increase learning.

The Project:

In partnership with the World Bank, the SELF lab helped adapt the Class Dojo program into a three week intervention. This project will test the effectiveness of the mindset intervention on students’ motivation, motivational behavior, and math achievement.

The Design:

Students were randomly assigned to receive a growth mindset intervention, or a matched control intervention that teaches students about nature. All sessions were administered in after school programs. Outcome measures were assessed at baseline, immediately after the intervention, and six months following the intervention.

The Results:

Initial results show that high school students who received the growth mindset treatment increased in math scores; however, this effect was dependent on the number of sessions the students attended. The greatest impact was for students who attended all intervention sessions. We did not find any impact of the program for primary students.