Student Agency Research

Interested in learning more about the research basis of student agency and our work at Gateway? This annotated bibliography provides a starting point for understanding current research.


The Influence of Teaching: Beyond Standardized Test Scores: Engagement, Mindsets & Agency

The Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University

Ferguson, R.F. with Phillips, S.F., Rowley, J.S.F. & Friedlander, J.W.

This article provides insights into how different teacher actions and approaches help foster students’ engagement, growth mindset and agency. With these specific identifiers, schools can shape the professional development of their teachers.

District Self-Assessment Tool

Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Brown University

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

This document provides a rubric for schools and school systems to self-assess how well they are preparing students for college. In addition to delineating specific criteria for self-evaluation, it provides suggested data to inform that evaluation. It is a helpful rubric for understanding whole-school and institutional practices that support student agency and college readiness.

Teaching Adolescents to Become Learners. The Role of Noncognitive Factors in Shaping School Performance: A Critical Literature Review

University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research

Farrington, C.A., Roderick, M., Allensworth, E., Nagaoka, J., Keyes, T.S., Johnson, D.W., & Beechum, N.O.

This article comprehensively reviews the research that supports how noncognitive factors impact students’ overall academic performance. As a research summary, it is helpful for organizations looking for evidence that supports the development of students’ social and emotional skills.


research publication cover

Student Agency Practices in the Middle Shift Learning Networks

Columbia, MD: IMPAQ International. Raikes Foundation.

Fancsali, C., Jaffe-Walter, R., & Dessein, L.

This article reviews promising practices in middle schools in the Middle Shift Learning Network of the Raikes Foundation that foster student agency. Its focus on classroom, whole-school, and community practices provides an assortment of ideas at all levels for ways to foster student agency.

Carol Dweck revisits growth mindset

Carol Dweck Revisits the Growth Mindset

Education Week Online, September 22, 2015.

Dweck, Carol

This article by Carol Dweck provides some useful reminders of what “growth mindset” is and is not. Written for teachers & administrators, it focuses on some simple turns of phrase that truly foster growth mindset.

American Journal of Education

Reflectiveness, Adaptivity and Support: How Teacher Agency Promotes Student Engagement

American Journal of Education, vol. 123, no. 1, Nov. 2016, pp. 109–136.

Cooper Stein, K., Kintz, T. & Miness, A.

This research article directly connects the growth mindset and engagement attitudes of teachers with their success in reaching and engaging their students in a growth mindset.