PERTS: Project for Education Research That Scales


What is PERTS?

PERTS (Project for Education Research That Scales), located at Stanford University, is a center for applied research that focuses on academic motivation and achievement. PERTS team members conduct research that explores ways of improving motivation, using the information they received from partnered schools, colleges, and organizations.

The PERTS website provides many great resources for teachers, students, and other professionals. The site lists projects that are currently being conducted by PERTS team members. PERTS publishes findings from relevant literature that support student motivation. Research has shown that students will achieve more motivation if they are in a resilient environment. Having a “growth” mindset encourages more success and motivation within the classroom. The PERTS program is dedicated to helping students maintain a growth mindset that will foster motivation and success within the classroom.

In addition to literature on academic motivation, the website includes a Mindset Kit that contains resources on mindfulness techniques for teachers, parents, and students. The resources are divided up by categories for: teachers, parents, math, and team educators. In each category there are lesson plans that lead each mindfulness training technique.

Carol Dwek, author of “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”, describes the two types of mindsets, fixed and growth. In her book, Carol explains the benefits of a growth mindset, and how to obtain one. In addition, she describes the short-term and long-term outcomes of each mindset. The PERTS program appears to be grounded from Carol Dwek’s growth and fixed mindset theories.

In 2014, Carol Dwek presented “The Power of Believing That You Can Improve” during a TEDTalk. The short video clip gives great background information on the power of the growth mindset. Edutopia provides a clip Carol Dwek discussing “Envision Education” and its success with student motivation and academic success.


Teaching in the Digital Age

October 20, 2009- This months session was Teaching in the Digital Age. Presenters included Steve Black, faculty librarian, Christina Pfister, department of Teacher Education, and Ryane Straus, department of History and Political Science. 

          Steve Black began the session by discussing authority and its importance to critical thinking. During Blacks presentation different types of authority were reviewed, such as individual, institutional, and peer review. Pros and cons for each type of authority were discussed such as bias, point of view, credibility, and feedback. To conclude his presentation Black provided suggested readings as well as tips for judging authority.

          Christina Pfister lead her presentation by discussing managing collaboration in the digital age. Pfister talked about her research seminar course which helps students develop small scale research studies. Pfister also shared instructional issues in the classroom, goals for that particular course, and strategies used in order to accomplish those goals. Pfister also stressed the importance of technology in her classrooms. All course material, documents, and readings are provided to students via email, google documents, word, and Blackboard.

          Finally, Ryane Straus concluded the presentations by discussing the History and Political Science 100 course which is taught by one historian and one political scientist in order to introduce students to the field. This course gives students an idea of the discipline and provides them with the tools to begin their research career at the college level. Straus also talked about how research is about developing a new arguments, plagiarism, citations, and the use of the Internet as a successful research tool.

          At the conclusion of this weeks presentations, an open discussion began which explored topics such as google documents and the advantages of using this program, how to motivate students to research and use proper citation,and knowledge versus motivation in students.

Below you will find the materials each presenter shared during the session. To hear this session, as well as past Provision sessions, please visit the “Session Podcast” link. 

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In The News

Below you will find articles from online resources pertaining to teaching

Inside Higher Ed:

The Uninsured Adjunct  With health care continuing to be debated nationally, many adjuncts are trying to draw attention to their status among the well-educated professionals who sometimes received little to no coverage. (Nov. 30, 2009)

Shift in Researcher Population  According to a new report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization the share of the worldwide research population in the United States has decreased from 23.2 to 20.3 percent between 2002 and 2007. This article explores the reasons for the decline. (Nov. 25, 2009)

Be a Tech-Aware Adjunct It is important, as an adjunct, to demonstrate proficiency in “new” technology because,”you are already two steps out the door with a long line of newly minted graduates waiting just outside.” This article explores ways in which new media can be integrated into the classroom, as well as whether or not technology is good pedagogy. (Nov. 18, 2009)

Boost for Liberal Arts Technology? With the help of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) Liberal Arts colleges will be brought up to speed on advanced networking. The NITLE announced a partnership with network provider Internet2 in hopes to allow liberal arts colleges to expand cirriculur offerings, attract top faculty, and provide remote access to digital collections. (Nov. 17,2009)

The New Literacy and the CMS The ability to write for a web audience is argued in this article as the new literacy. This article explores the ways in which new media and social learning are opportunties for students rather then obstacles. (Oct. 13, 2009)

E-Books and Colleges Will electronic and digiatal books replace printed books? This article explores ways to avoid repeating the “Napster” experience on campus’ with e-books. (Oct. 4,2009)

Define “College Ready’ Nationally The amount of students out of high school who are ill-prepared for college or the work force is not very disputed. This article focus’ on how to fix this problem. The idea of a nationally embraced code of standards for high school students, is currently being reviewed by college faculty with one goal in mind, allow students to get to the next step. (Sept. 21, 2009)

Can We Discuss This? The article navigates through what discussion groups should not be, as well as good practices of discussion groups. Suggestions provided in order to conduct an effective group include maximizing student involvement and creating a separate syllabus for discussion. (Sept. 9, 2009)

Managing The Admissions Challenge With 90% of colleges reporting an increase in financial aid applications this year, and 74% of colleges reporting an increase in number of students offered grant aid, this article offers strategies used by colleges in 2009 or planned for 2010. Such strategies include admitting more applicants, awarding larger grants, and offering grants to more students. (Sept. 25, 2009)

New York Times:

Students Protest Tuition Increases Protests continue on several campuses after the University of California Board of Regents announced a 32% increase in fees equivalent to tuition. (Nov. 20,2009)

Barred From Field, Religious Signs Move to Stands After a parent expressed concern over banners at a high school football game in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. which read, “Commit to the Lord,” a first amendment lawsuit may be underway. Due to the new policy, the article explores the unexpected results  that came from this incident. (Oct. 26,2009)

M.I.T Taking Student Blogs to Nth Degree Many colleges are beginning to embrace student blogs on their websites, seeing them as a marketing tool for high school students. This article talks about the pros and cons to publishing untouched student writing. (Oct. 1,2009)

The College Calculation “How much does a college education, the actual teaching and learning that happens on campus, really matter?” (Sept. 24, 2009)     

College Officials Brace for Hit from Economy This article explores the shift from “will my child get into college?” to ” can we afford to send my child to college?” (Sept. 25,2009)

Additional Websites & Blogs:

Academic Commons 

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education