Teaching a Growth Mindset to Increase Career Aspirations for Adolescents in Indonesia

Type of research:

Evaluation of an Intervention, Intervention Curriculum Writing


Many students in Indonesia do not continue school after Grade 9. It is believed that one reason for this dropout is that students do not feel capable of succeeding in high school or have a good career. Therefore, the Indonesian government is interested in boosting how adolescents view themselves, their abilities, and their motivation in school through the use of social-emotional interventions.

The project:

In this project, we are collaborating with the World Bank to (1) evaluate a student intervention to improve Indonesian adolescents’ motivation and academic trajectory and (2) write and test a classroom addition to the student intervention.

The design:

Around 63,000 9th grade students from 2,100 schools in Java and Sumatra were recruited to participate in this study. Schools were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: 1) a group of control schools, b) a group of schools that received a new curriculum (Semua Bisa Sukses or SBS) to be delivered by school counselors, and c) a group of schools for which SBS was boosted by supplemental activities and text messages for teachers. The supplemental activities are aimed at integrating the core ideas of SBS to regular instruction in other classes--e.g. Math and science. The text messages, on the other hand, are aimed at fostering teachers’ awareness of and engagement with the core ideas in SBS.