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Investigating Mindset Theories: The Implications for Classroom Instruction and Professional Development

Nestor, Ashley (2017) Investigating Mindset Theories: The Implications for Classroom Instruction and Professional Development. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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School districts hold innate ability and aptitude at a very high regard (Resnick & Hall, 1998). In contrast, more than thirty years of research show that a focus on effort—not intelligence or innate ability—is the key to success in both school and life (Dweck, 2008). While there is growing research coming from research in cognitive science and social psychology to support this theory, it is still an open vision (Resnick & Hall, 2003). Therefore, the aim of this inquiry was to: (1) investigate how teachers perceive themselves in relation to a fixed or growth mindset, (2) explore how teachers perceive mindset informing instruction, and (3) examine the nature of teachers’ professional development related to mindset. The study was conducted at a suburban elementary school outside Pittsburgh, PA. Forty-three teachers responded to the survey. The survey was designed to collect data using multiple choice and open-ended items. The participants were asked to respond to questions regarding teachers’ perceptions, classroom implications, and professional development associated with mindset. The researcher found that teachers perceived a strong link between growth mindset and a range of positive student outcomes and that growth mindset has a strong potential for teaching and learning. The study also found that teachers consistently used practices to foster growth mindset in the classroom and that they use common practices to do so. The findings suggest that there is a desire for more effective training and that professional development may help alleviate some of the perceived challenges teachers face when implementing growth mindset into their teaching expectations and practices.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Nestor, Ashleyashley_nestor@fcasd.edualn65
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTananis,
Committee MemberRussell,
Date: 18 August 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 24 April 2017
Approval Date: 18 August 2017
Submission Date: 6 July 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 109
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: growth mindset grit Dweck Resnick Principles of Learning Duckworth
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2017 18:34
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2017 18:34


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