David Paunesku

David Paunesku

David Paunesku headshot

David Paunesku is the executive director and co-founder of the Stanford University Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS). He works with educators, online learning platforms, and researchers to develop, validate, and disseminate learning mindset interventions. These are practical, low-cost educational practices that help students develop more motivating beliefs about school and earn higher grades.

During his tenure, PERTS has conducted randomized controlled trials of learning mindset interventions at more than a hundred middle schools, high schools, colleges, and learning platforms around the United States – reaching hundreds of thousands of students. PERTS also actively disseminates research-based, teacher-tested practices for improved student motivation and engagement through its Mindset Kit ( – a free, online tool used for professional development by numerous school districts, including the New York City Department of Education and Baltimore City Public Schools.

Paunesku’s research has been published in top research journals, including Psychological Science and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; it has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, the Gates Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; and it has been featured in a variety of popular media, including The Wall Street JournalEducation WeekThe AtlanticEdSurgeThe Scientific American, and Mind/Shift.

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