Mindsets Matter the Most

The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.

Mindsets Matter the Most


A new international research study from McKinsey & Company entitled How to Improve Student Educational Outcomes: New insights from data Analytics brings two key findings:  

• Student mindsets, such as motivation and self-belief, have greater impact on student performance than any other factor—and double the effect of socioeconomic background.

• The students with the best outcomes receive teacher-directed instruction in most or all classes, together with inquiry-based teaching in some classes.

While these striking results are drawn from school data, they are significant enough that Sistema programs should be attending to these findings, especially about the high priority of motivation and other mindsets.  The researchers report:

“It was particularly striking that several of the mindsets we analyzed made the most difference for students either in low-performing schools or in lower socioeconomic quartiles. For students in schools with low average test scores, a well-calibrated motivation mindset is equivalent to vaulting into a higher socioeconomic quartile. In low-performing schools, students in the lowest socioeconomic quartile who are well-calibrated perform better than those in the highest quartile who are poorly calibrated. This result was consistent across all regions.”