Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Learning Mindsets in the Secondary Classroom: Implications for Instruction and Professional Development

Hadley, Jeffrey (2017) Learning Mindsets in the Secondary Classroom: Implications for Instruction and Professional Development. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (2MB) | Preview


This exploratory inquiry utilizes survey research to investigate teacher perceptions about learning mindsets in the classroom. The literature indicates that creating a learning culture that produces student motivation leads to sustained effort and increased achievement (Dweck, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010; Resnick, 1985, 2000; Robertson-Kraft, & Duckworth, 2013; Shechtman, DeBarger, Dornsife, Rosier, & Yarnall, 2013; Tough, 2013). Dweck (2006) refers to this learning mindset as a growth mindset meaning the individual believes his or her intelligence can increase with effort. The opposite would be a fixed mindset which creates a lack of motivation because the individual believes his or her intelligence is static (Dweck, 2006). This inquiry investigated how teachers perceive learning mindsets and operationalize these perceptions in their classroom practices. Additionally, this inquiry investigates the professional development teachers have received and wish to receive related to learning mindsets in the classroom.
The survey utilized in this inquiry was adapted from a survey created and used by Education Week in a national study conducted in May of 2016 (Education Week Research Center, 2016). This study has a collaborative aspect as a fellow doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh conducted her inquiry with elementary teachers using the same survey instrument used in this inquiry. The survey was divided into three sections: classroom practices, teacher perceptions, and professional development. Data from all three studies were analyzed and compared in this inquiry.
Findings indicate that teachers have a strong understanding of factors that contribute to student growth mindset. Teachers also believe they are good at fostering a growth mindset, but they don’t have as much confidence that their colleagues are proficient at fostering a growth mindset in students. Although teachers appear to have a strong grasp of how to foster a growth mindset in students, areas are identified in which teachers lack an understanding of how a growth mindset connects to and impacts achievement. These findings lead to the conclusion that additional and deeper professional development is necessary for teachers to fully understand the benefits and impact of fostering a growth mindset in students.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hadley, Jeffreyjmh199@pitt.edujmh1990000-0003-4785-6503
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTananis,
Committee MemberPage,
Committee MemberWagner,
Date: 1 August 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 24 May 2017
Approval Date: 1 August 2017
Submission Date: 20 June 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 148
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: mindset; growth mindset; fixed mindset; learning mindset; achievement mindset
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2017 21:02
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2017 21:02


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item