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Ask a Psychologist

Helping Students Thrive Now

Angela Duckworth and other behavioral-science experts offer advice to teachers based on scientific research. To submit questions, use this form or #helpstudentsthrive.

Student Well-Being Opinion How to Cultivate Confidence in Students
Help students calibrate their learning to be just-hard-enough—because experiencing a series of small wins can be transformative.
Angela Duckworth, January 20, 2021
3 min read
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Student Well-Being Opinion How to Help Students Know When It’s Time to Quit—and When It’s Not
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. Here’s how to consider the decision to persist or stop.
Angela Duckworth, January 13, 2021
3 min read
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Teaching Profession Opinion What Your Students Will Remember About You
The best teachers care about students unconditionally but, at the same time, ask them to do things they can’t yet do.
Angela Duckworth, January 6, 2021
2 min read
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Student Well-Being Opinion What Research Says About Supporting the Whole Child
Here’s one way to think about the role schools play in helping students thrive in every sense of the word.

Angela Duckworth, December 16, 2020
2 min read
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Teaching Profession Opinion Are You a Tough Teacher? Research Shows You May Be More Effective
Students may give higher ratings to teachers who give out good grades, but that doesn't mean they're learning more.
Angela Duckworth, December 2, 2020
3 min read
Education Opinion Harnessing the IKEA Effect for Student Motivation
Laziness is universal, but so is the upside to effort. Asking more from students, research shows, makes them care more about their work.
Angela Duckworth, November 17, 2020
2 min read
Education Opinion The Best Way to Teach Values to Kids, According to Research
Does it really matter what we say to kids, or is acting on our values enough? A new study tests the effectiveness of words versus actions on how students learn.
Angela Duckworth, November 11, 2020
2 min read
Education Opinion One Thing Teachers Can Do to Make Remote Learning More Effective
Talk less, ask more. The more we can let students actively engage rather than passively receive, the better.
Angela Duckworth, November 4, 2020
2 min read
Education Opinion The Three Essential Elements for Forging Strong Student Relationships
Technology is helping us stay connected during the pandemic, but there is no one-click equivalent to feeling understood, respected, and cared for by another person.
Angela Duckworth, October 28, 2020
2 min read
Education Opinion How to Teach Students to Work Smarter, Sooner
Working smarter is just as important as working harder. Here's how to help students develop a strategic mindset earlier in life.
Angela Duckworth, October 21, 2020
2 min read
Education Opinion How Teachers Can Encourage Moral Behavior
How can you teach students to distinguish right from wrong when they see others violate moral standards shamelessly? Eminent psychologist Albert Bandura explains the perils of moral disengagement.
Ask a Psychologist Contributor, October 14, 2020
2 min read
Education Opinion What Teachers Need to Know About Self-Efficacy
Believing you can change your life—and help others overcome setbacks—is an essential part of an effective school culture. Eminent psychologist Albert Bandura explains.
Ask a Psychologist Contributor, October 7, 2020
2 min read
Education Opinion The Transition to High School Is Hard. Here's How to Make It Better
Having a growth mindset about personality—thinking that people can change for the better—helps kids handle tough times.
Ask a Psychologist Contributor, September 30, 2020
2 min read
Education Opinion The Best Cure When Teachers and Students Feel Insecure
Confessing what you don't know and the challenges you face allows others to do the same—and that builds trust and cohesion, in the classroom and elsewhere.
Angela Duckworth, September 23, 2020
2 min read