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The Effect of Teacher Mindset on Low-Tracked Students

St.Amant, Tawnia (2017) The Effect of Teacher Mindset on Low-Tracked Students. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Submitted)

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Tawnia St.Amant, EdD
University of Pittsburgh, 2017
It is found that students in low tracked classes do not achieve as much academic growth as those placed in high tracked levels. Although educational psychologists have extensively studied the effect of “teacher expectations” on achievement, more recently, the concept of Mindset has been introduced. Teachers who are unaware of the advances in neuroscience regarding malleability of intelligence often believe students’ intelligence is fixed, and they view struggles as failures instead of struggling as a critical part of learning. To explore this problem, a study of instruction in low tracked classrooms was conducted.
A regional sample of teachers (n=36) participated in the initial survey. The survey has its roots from Carol Dweck’s Mindset Assessment Profile Tool (Dweck, 2006) as well as consultation from experts in the field. Findings indicate that 76% of the teachers score in the growth mindset range. The study included observations of twelve classes to determine the rigor of classroom activities based upon Webb’s Depth of Knowledge and interviews with six teachers who teach low tracked students regarding lesson planning, assessment creation, and instruction in low tracked classrooms. According to the literature and the information found in this study, although many schools are touting the idea of detracking, tracking is still thriving in America’s schools. Expectations that lower track students are unlikely to achieve academically could potentially set these students up for failure from the start. Supporters of this viewpoint argue that teachers generally hold limiting expectations for students in lower educational tracks (Wheelock, 1992). This study aimed to look at teachers with differing mindset scores and their approach to and perception of teaching students in low academic tracks. While survey responses indicated that study respondents generally adopt a growth mindset, observational data reveal some growth mindset techniques such as student-centered learning are used infrequently.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Submitted
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
St.Amant, Tawniatrs75@pitt.eduTrs75
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKelly,
Committee MemberMcClure,
Committee Membertrovato,
Date: 21 May 2017
Defense Date: 19 April 2017
Approval Date: 22 May 2017
Submission Date: 22 May 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 91
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mindset Tracking Low-Tracked Students
Date Deposited: 22 May 2017 18:32
Last Modified: 22 May 2017 18:32


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