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An analysis of the Development Positive Academic Mindsets in Diverse IBO Schools (2016-17)


 International Baccalaureate (IB) has worked for many years to develop and guide the implementation of four programs, including the Diploma Program (DP), designed to create strong schools, well prepared teachers, and high quality learning experiences, that result in positive student outcomes. A substantial body of prior research shows that this has been accomplished. Evaluations indicate that graduates of IB programs are highly successful in the next level of education.

 There is growing evidence that students’ postsecondary and career readiness is driven by more than their content knowledge and core academic skills. Non-cognitive factors (i.e. sets of learning strategies, academic mindsets and behaviors) also play a critical role in student success. The literature also increasingly suggests that students are more likely to demonstrate these non-cognitive behaviors, attitudes and strategies in educational contexts that are specifically structured to encourage students to develop and exhibit them.


About the Project

 NCREST proposed and conducted a study of the ways in which DP programs and schools contribute to the development of non-cognitive or assets in different settings. The research was designed to inform the IB’s thinking about how it constructs curriculum development and student supports as well as to add to the literature on the ways in which non-cognitive skills can be taught and learned in school and classroom settings. The emphasis was on four academic mindsets that contribute to positive academic behaviors.


The project activities included the following, with a focus on both school structures and classroom activities that contribute to positive academic mindsets.

 Site visits to two schools in Lima, Peru and two in New York State (US) to conduct interviews and observations.

  • Administration of a survey to DP students to learn about their academic mindsets as well as the conditions in their schools that may facilitate the development of positive academic mindsets.

 The findings were summarized in a report.

For more information, contact Elisabeth Barnett at or Fenot Aklog at

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