Department of Psychology

Changing Mindsets

The Changing Mindsets intervention was developed by Professor Sherria Hoskins and has existed in several different capacities since 2012. Changing Mindsets is based on Dweck’s Implicit Theories of Intelligence, in which Dweck argued that intelligence is malleable and that teachers can help pupils develop a growth mindset by praising their effort and persistence, over their innate intelligence.

Initially, the Education Endowment Foundation-funded Changing Mindsets project was launched, followed by the NTLF funded project that enabled the team to launch Growing Learners, an education consultancy business. Subsequently, EEF funded Changing Mindsets 2, whilst HEFCE funded the Learning Gains project. The most recent iteration of Changing Mindsets was also funded by HEFCE.

HEFCE Catalyst Changing Mindsets

2017 - Present

This HEFCE funded project began in 2017 and is an intervention focused on closing the attainment gap of BME and working class students. Changing Mindsetsis a student and staff workshop-based intervention that builds a growth mindset: the belief that intelligence is not a fixed characteristic and can be increased through effort.

Working in collaboration with University of Arts, London; University of Brighton; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Winchester, this intervention aims to close the attainment gap in student experience, retention, progression, academic attainment and employability by changing mindsets and eroding stereotype threat and implicit bias as barriers to learning.

Changing Mindsets

HEFCE Learning Gain

2016 - Present

The Learning Gain project was launched in 2016 and is funded by HEFCE as part of a £4 million national initiative exploring learning gain. The project's key aims are to to develop and trial psychometric questionnaires of learning gain that will focus on personal development and employability identity, as well as being reliable and valid, and free for use by other Higher Education Institutions. This approach will enable the team to explore how undergraduates develop over the course of their degree. Many claims are made about the benefits of going to University but few measures have been developed to assess whether these benefits are achieved. It is hoped that the results of this project will help higher education institutions to understand and enhance undergraduate learning gain and inform developments in the Teaching Excellence Framework

To fulfill these aims the University of Portsmouth is working in partnership with the University of Southampton, the University of Roehampton, the University of the Arts, London, and Royal Holloway.

Growing Learners

2015 -  Present

Growing Learners is an educational consultancy business, comprised of several education research psychologists at the University of Portsmouth. The team is passionate about supporting schools and parents to improve  their children’s expectations and attainment,  using evidence based practice to support in becoming resilient, confident, and effective learners.

Growing Learners have developed interventions for nurseries, schools, colleges, and universities based on Fixed Mindsets and Growth Mindsets. These interventions include: a variety of intervention packages for whole schools, school consortiums, and NQTS; assessment packages for educational and training institutions; as well as children's story books and a mobile app for parents. Growing Learners has worked with over 250 schools around Europe to develop pupils’ learning resilience and attainment.

Growing learners

EEF Changing Mindsets 2

2015 -  Present

The second EEF Changing Mindsets project began in 2015 and was led by Professor Sherria Hoskins. The intervention followed up from where the first intervention left off, with the aim of supporting schools in encouraging a growth mindsets amongst their pupils.

This project focused on Year 6 pupils and teachers across the UK, and has provided teachers with training on Mindset Theory and taught children about the malleability of intelligence using learning resources and activities from the previous intervention.

EEF Changing Mindsets

2012 - 2014

The first EEF funded Changing Mindsets intervention was led by Professor Sherria Hoskins and began in 2012 and concluded in 2014. The project sought to improve academic attainment by supporting pupils to develop a growth mindset. The intervention targeted Year 5 pupils across Portsmouth, Southampton, and Hampshire and consisted of two separate interventions. The first intervention directly taught pupils about the malleability of intelligence through six workshops. The second intervention trained teachers on approaches to developing and reinforcing growth mindsets. The intervention resulted in pupils making an average of two months progress in English and Maths.