The Research-Practice Divide Is Not Only an Issue of Communication, but of Values: The Case of Growth Mindset
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The research-practice divide between social scientists and educators is a persistent problem for the accurate communication and translation of social scientific research into pedagogical practice. This paper uses mindset theory as a case study, arguing that the social scientific theories transcending the research-practice divide tend to be those that align with the professional commitments of educators. Concretely, mindset theory was accepted into the language of K-12 education due in part to a perceived alignment between academic research concerning growth mindset and pedagogical values commonly held by educators. Resulting from this superficial overlap, growth mindset has often been taken up too quickly in applied settings as an ill-defined, uncritically positive, and expansive pedagogical orientation. Social scientific evidence does not warrant such an understanding of growth mindset. Failure to acknowledge the importance of educational values in the uptake of educational research may lead to continued misunderstandings between teachers and education researchers.