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OnRamps and Texas Behavioral Science and Policy Institute Launch Texas Mindset Initiative

Partnership to Examine Teacher Practices and Beliefs Surrounding the Impact of Growth Mindset in STEM Education


AUSTIN, TEXAS, May 4, 2020 — There are massive inequities in the rates at which students are placed and succeed in rigorous math by the end of the first year of high school. OnRamps and the Texas Behavioral Science and Policy Institute have partnered to identify and implement strategies that transform learning and instruction through the Texas Mindset Initiative. Rooted in developmental psychology, innovative pedagogy and a facilitated network of stakeholders, the study will focus on learning from current OnRamps teachers and how they implement mindset practices to address long-standing inequities that are barriers to students in seventh-to-ninth grade mathematics.

"We are thrilled to join forces with the National Mindset Innovation Network to bring their National Study of Learning Mindsets to Texas through OnRamps. Our partnership will combine OnRamps' existing rigorous learning opportunities with a mindset practices in the classroom to promote upward mobility within our students," said Jennifer Porter, Ph.D, Managing Director of OnRamps. "At OnRamps, we strongly believe in the impact that effective learning strategies, persistence and support from teachers can make on a student's capacity to grow. By shifting learning mindsets, we hope to promote all OnRamps students' success in STEM courses and incorporate these techniques into their day to day lives to drive future success."

We strongly believe in the impact that effective learning strategies, persistence and support from teachers can make on a student's capacity to grow.

The study will utilize 22 practitioners across the state with deep expertise in STEM curriculum. These educators, known as the Texas Mindset Teacher Fellows, are 2019-2020 OnRamps instructors with demonstrated success in implementing an OnRamps STEM course. OnRamps, which offers high-quality courses to prepare students for college coupled with robust professional development support for teachers, served 33,105 students and 1,078 teachers across Texas in the current school year. Representing urban, suburban and rural campuses across Texas, the fellows chosen were identified as for their effective engagement of students using mindset practices.

During their year-long fellowship and partnership with researchers from across the nation, the teachers will share practices that promote student achievement, motivation and growth mindsets in STEM teaching. Fellows will develop prototypes for immediate testing by peers in classrooms across the state. In addition, the fellow's school districts will receive early access and opportunities to pilot interventions developed by the fellowship program.

The University of Texas at Austin faculty is currently working with OnRamps teachers on ways students can learn in and out of the classroom through effective approaches such as inquiry-based learning. OnRamps emphasizes professional learning and development for teachers by deepening their understanding of the course content, student’s approaches to learning and advancing the instructional approaches to facilitate learning.

To learn more about the Texas Mindset Initiative, visit https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/nslm/txmi-high-school-transitition.php

About OnRamps

OnRamps is one of the University of Texas at Austin's signature initiatives designed to expand access to high-quality educational opportunities across Texas. It offers distance education through a dual enrollment model for high school students to engage in authentic college experiences and robust professional learning and development for their teachers to deepen their content knowledge and impact in the classroom. Serving tens of thousands, in partnership with districts and higher education institutions across the state, OnRamps is helping to reduce barriers to upward mobility and increase the number and diversity of students who are on the path to postsecondary success.

About the Texas Behavioral Science and Policy Institute

The Texas Behavioral Science and Policy Institute is a new multi-PI research institute focused on using behavioral approaches to narrow inequalities during adolescence and early adulthood. The TxBSPI is housed in the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin and is led by UT Austin faculty members David Yeager (psychology), Chandra Muller (sociology), and Robert Crosnoe (sociology) and by scientific director Pratik Mhatre. The TxBSPI grew out of two major projects—the National Study of Learning Mindsets, which improved academic achievement, and the Texas Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Stress Resilience, which improved adolescent daily stress responses. Learn more at https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/nslm/txbspi.php or by contacting us at txbspi@prc.utexas.edu.

About the National Mindset Innovation Network

The National Mindset Innovation Network (NMIN) is a network representative of schools across the country involved in studying and developing student mindset strategies through collaboration of professional learning practices and was directly born from the National Study of Learning Mindsets. By focusing on true, meaningful capacity building that improves student outcomes, the NMIN seeks to build a network of schools that can rapidly prototype discoveries and give feedback on best school practices. Learn more at https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/nslm/national-mindset-innovation-network.php.

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