Research on Pathways

Step 1

Pathways was developed and rigorously tested in Detroit with funding from the NIH, documenting clear positive outcomes for students, increasing classroom engagement, improving grade point average and reducing risk of course failure. Therefore, we asked if we could make Pathways a tool for teachers, and partnered with Chicago Public Schools in a two-step process funded by the U.S. Department of Education (Institute for Educational Science). of Education (Institute for Educational Science).

Step 2

At Step 2, we worked with three cycles of Chicago Public School teachers. Our goals were to refine our materials and training methods and test whether teachers could be trained, deliver Pathways with fidelity, train other teachers to do the same, and if delivering with fidelity mattered -- improving student grade point average and reducing risk of course failure. The answer is Yes! Teachers can do all of these things.

Step 3

At Step 3, our teacher trainers will work with 35 schools during the 2019-2020 school year and an additional 35 schools during the 2020-2021 school year. Schools will be assigned by lottery to the first or second training wave. This will allow us to rigorously test at scale the effectiveness of our teacher-led, teacher-trained model.


School success, possible selves, and parent school-involvement. (2007)

Possible selves and academic outcomes: How and when possible selves impel action. (2006)

Teachers can do it: Scalable identity-based motivation intervention in the classroom. (2018)

Identity Based Motivation

From future self to current action: An identitybased motivation perspective. (2018)

Guiding people to interpret experienced difficulty as importance highlights their academic possibilities and improves their academic performance. (2018)

Possible selves theory. (2009)

Path Metaphor

The College Journey and Academic Engagement: How Metaphor Use Enhances Identity-Based Motivation. (2014)

When does the future begin? Time metrics matter, connecting present and future selves. (2015)

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