AMATYC: Removing Barriers to Success in Front Door Mathematics Courses

Valencia College is creating interventions for students using Dweck’s work on growth mindset and utility value (learning has a value for me).

Growth Mindset:Students write essays to persuade other students after reading an article on growth mindset and answering some open ended reflections.

Utility Value: Students write paragraphs several times about the math they are learning and how they- or someone else could use it. The goal is eventually to have students give specific math and specific applications eventually. (They are sorted binarily based on specific, or not in each category.)

Growth Mindset

They measure how students, in their essays, describe things like help-seeking, malleability, . . . Students fit into three groups:

Low group: They did not put much effort in (GPA 2.02)

Growth only: Trying hard increases performance (GPA 2.04)

Growth and strategy: They also talked about help-seeking and processes for getting better at math (GPA 2.38) NOTE: DID NOT CONTROL FOR WRITING ABILITY- DID CONTROL WITH RANDOMIZATION FOR OTHER FACTORS. The presenter brought this up withou me asking which makes me take this much more seriously.

Control GPA: 2.11 (all courses)


Baseline Men 59%, Women 68%

After intervention Men 72%, Women 64% (Not significant for women)

Utility helps most at-risk it seems.

More data is coming!


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