Mindset in the Classroom: A National Study of K-12 Teachers

Ed weekThe Education Week Research Center has released an original study examining teachers’ perspectives on growth mindset. The national survey of K-12 educators, conducted with support from the Raikes Foundation, also explores their views about professional development, training, and the use of practices related to growth mindset in the classroom.

Growth mindset-the belief that intelligence can be developed through effort-has garnered a great deal of attention in recent years. As awareness of growth-mindset theories and philosophies has spread, some teachers have tried to integrate them into their classroom instruction. And as policymakers grapple with the construction of a new wave of accountability systems under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, there has been debate about the inclusion of growth-mindset measures in such systems. But, until now, relatively little has been known about teachers’ views and experiences with growth mindset.

Findings from the Education Week Research Center offer timely insight into the role of growth mindset in the classroom, where policy decisions will ultimately play out. Key findings, which are addressed in detail in the extensive report, include:

  • Educators believe growth mindset has great potential for teaching and learning. Nearly all teachers (98%) agree that using growth mindset in the classroom will lead to improved student learning. Nearly as many report that it will improve the quality of their instruction.
  • Teachers see a strong link between a growth mindset and a range of positive student outcomes and behaviors. More than 90 percent believe growth mindset is associated with excitement about learning, persistence, high levels of effort, and participation in class.
  • However, putting growth mindset into practice poses significant challenges. Only 20 percent of teachers strongly believe they are good at fostering a growth mindset in their own students. They have even less confidence in their fellow teachers and school administrators. And just one in five say they have deeply integrated growth mindset into their teaching practice.
  • There is a great hunger for more and more effective training. Eight-five percent of teachers want more professional development related to growth mindset, despite the fact that almost half of those educators report having prior training on the topic.

To access the report and results, see: http://www.edweek.org/media/ewrc_mindsetintheclassroom_sept2016.pdf