About PERTS

PERTS is an applied research center at Stanford University. We work with leading experts on academic motivation to raise student achievement on a large scale. In the process, we conduct research that enables us to improve our programs and to expand what is known about academic motivation.

 

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How do PERTS programs work?
Results & Impact
Ongoing Projects
User Experiences
Team
Partners
Press

 

How do PERTS programs work? 

To be successful, students must be motivated and resilient: They must choose to learn and to persist even when schoolwork is challenging.

Research shows that students' academic mindsets—their beliefs about learning and about school—affect their motivation and resilience. Students with adaptive academic mindsets think about school and about their own abilities in fundamentally different ways from disengaged students: They understand why school is important; they trust their teachers and peers; and they understand that they can grow their abilities by working hard and by trying new strategies when they get stuck. Students who don't understand these things don't try as hard and give up quickly.

PERTS interventions target students' academic mindsets. They work to help students think about school in more adaptive ways that help them stay more motivated and resilient. In doing so, they can improve their academic outcomes.

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Results & Impact 

PERTS programs draw on decades of scientific research on motivation to help students become more motivated and resilient. They are designed by top behavioral scientists at leading research institutions and evaluated using rigorous, randomized controlled studies. This executive summary highlights some recent results. For example,

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Ongoing Projects 

PERTS is currently engaged in three separate lines of high-impact, interdisciplinary research:

  1. Online Modules for Middle School, High School, and College Students. These are brief, evidence-based, online programs designed to help students learn to think about school in more adaptive ways. We work with schools to make these programs available to their students in their school computer lab or as homework. See the programs page to learn more.
  2. Professional Development for Math Teachers: Our online professional development modules help middle and high school teachers learn how to promote adaptive mindsets in their students through specific classroom practices. Learn more about the Classroom Practices Program
  3. Increasing Motivation in Online Learning Environments. PERTS is hosting the Mindset Challenge, an effort that brings together online learning platforms and behavioral scientists to motivate students who learn online.

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User Experiences 

The impact was so overwhelmingly positive that I have to admit that it brought tears to my eyes. I was just so thrilled for my community.

[When PERTS unveiled our college's results at a state-wide summit of faculty and administrators], all the arrows went in the right direction, and there were gasps of joy when they saw this.

They ask us questions to help us succeed in school. That was my favorite part about the program.

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Team 

Our interdisciplinary team includes behavioral scientists, software developers, analysts, and logistics coordinators.

Leadership

Dave Paunesku

Executive Director
PERTS
Stanford University

Carissa Romero

Associate Director
PERTS
Stanford University

Greg Walton

Assistant Professor
Stanford University
Faculty Advisor

Carol Dweck

Professor
Stanford University
Faculty Advisor

Affiliated Faculty

David Yeager

Assistant Professor
Univ. Texas Austin
HS5 Co-PI

James Gross

Associate Professor
Stanford University
MS4 PI

Jo Boaler

Professor
Stanford University
CP1 Co-PI

Geoff Cohen

Professor
Stanford University
MS4 Co-PI

Staff & Research Collaborators

Jacquie Beaubien

Senior Program Manager

Chris Macrander

Software Engineer

Ben Haley

Software Engineer

Eric Smith

Operations Asst.

Rachel Herter

Relations Asst.

Jason Okonofua

MS5 Program Lead

Daniel Greene

Assc. Organizer

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Partner Schools 

PERTS partners with schools, colleges, online learning platforms, and researchers across the United States to improve student outcomes.


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Press Inquiries 

For press inquiries or to request a speaking engagement, please email us at contact@perts.net.


In the News

2013, November 20, Wall Street Journal
2013, May 22, Scientific American
2013, February 22, Stanford News
2013, February 20, edSurge News Brief
2012, December 19, edSurge News Brief

Speaking Engagements

2014, January 12. Raising Student Achievement By Promoting Adaptive Beliefs 2013, December 12. Psychological Barriers to Success: Beliefs that prevent students from reaching their potential and how we can change them. 2013, November 14. Mindsets: The power of beliefs. 2013, October 31. PERTS:Raising Achievement with Online Psychological Interventions. 2013, September 21. Keynote Address 2013, May 7. Choking Under Pressure: Beliefs that Hold Students Back and How We Can Change Them 2013, April 6. Raising Student Achievement By Promoting A Growth Mindset 2013, April 5. Raising Student Achievement By Promoting Adaptive Beliefs 2013, April 4. Raising Student Achievement By Promoting Adaptive Beliefs 2013, April. The Importance of School Contexts for Mindsets about Intelligence 2013, April. Mindset and Learning Strategy Interventions 2012, November 19. Psychological Barriers to success: Beliefs that Prevent Students From Reaching their Potential and How We Can Change Them 2012, October 24. The Importance of School Contexts in Changing Students’ Mindsets About Intelligence 2012, August 23. The Student Perspectives Program: Changing Mindsets for Success 2012, June 21. Psychological Barriers to Success: Beliefs that Prevent Students From Reaching Their Potential And How We Can Change Them 2012, June 10. The Power of Brief Psychological Programs. 2012, May 19. Helping Students Across Difficult Transitions: an Online Platform for Delivering Psychological Interventions. 2012, April 2. The Student Perspectives Program: Helping Students Overcome Psychological Barriers to Success. 2012, March 23. The Power Of Beliefs About Change 2012, March 10. The Power of Brief Psychological Programs 2012, March 2. The Power of Brief Psychological Programs 2012, January. Changing Beliefs about Intelligence: Effects on Beliefs about Effort, Wellbeing, and Achievement. 2011, November 10. Growth mindset: Helping Students Reach Their Full Potential 2011, October 19. Helping Students Across Difficult Transitions: An Online Platform for Delivering Psychological Interventions. 2011, July 19. The Power of Brief Psychological Programs Summer 2011. Introduction to Social Psychology Lecturer 2011, June 17. Beliefs About Malleability: Effects on Academic and Affective Outcomes Throughout Middle School 2011, June 5. Raising Academic Achievement Through Social Psychological Intervention: Between-school Differences and Other Considerations for Large-scale Implementation Spring 2011, Fall 2011. Lecture on Attachment 2011, May 21. Beliefs About Malleability: Effects on Academic and Affective Outcomes Throughout Middle School 2011, April 11. Mindsets: The Power of Beliefs 2011, April 1. Brainology in the Classroom: An Online Growth Mindset Intervention Affects GPA, Conduct, and Implicit Theories 2011, January 7. Scaling up Psychological Interventions 2010, December 14. Beliefs That Affect Achievement and Ways to Change Them. 2010 (September 30), 2011 (October 13), 2012 (October 2). Mindsets of Intelligence Summer 2010. Introduction to Developmental Psychology Lecturer 2010, July 13. Mindsets: The Power of Beliefs 2009, November 21. Mindset: How to Welcome and Love Challenges 2009, April 15. Theories of Intelligence and Theories of Emotion Control: Effects Over an Adolescent Transition