For Teachers

Fabulous Intervention for Students!  The Upside of Stress, by Kelly McGonigal

I guess I must be looking for my final ways to have an impact or leave a legacy before retiring, but I started reading a book that has huge implications in education, and I just have to share. I have only read about 1/4 of the book, but the information and research findings in it are fabulous. A small intervention at the beginning of the year has been shown to make a drastic difference, even closing college minority/non-minority GPA gaps and boosting college retention rates more than scholarships, as well as in helping students adjust positively to their new environment. It’s not totally unlike Pygmalian, but more to do with self-efficacy.
The intervention is so simple to design and can even be as short as 30 min. to an hour: changing mindsets through a video, or reading an article, or listening to other students share their experiences, maybe writing a culminating essay. Yet it has been demonstrated to have such remarkable results.  Imagine  something that can have such an impact on our students!
Some of the research that excited me was by Greg Walton, Ph.D. at Stanford. The book is actually by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. (TedTalks), and is titled The Upside of Stress, published May 5, 2015.   I really started getting excited about the research on page 46 (if it’s the same as my advanced reader copy), where several examples of impact were described, such as 81% students passing 9th algebra, vs 58% control group.
I have to laugh, as I know I sound just like a sales rep, but I am merely an avid reader who enjoys reading educational research and finding sources of motivation. I just received the book from the publisher, part of my quest to read materials before being published so that I am an informed librarian. I am thrilled about the potential impact on students and thought it was worth sharing!  My review is posted on my book review page.



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