Agreeing is Not the Same as Accepting: Exploring Pre-Service Teachers’ Growth Mindsets

  • Gabrielle N. Pelletier University of Alberta
  • Lauren D. Goegan University of Alberta
  • Devon J. Chazan University of Alberta
  • Lia M. Daniels University of Alberta

Abstract

The popularity of mindset theory has resulted in a surge of mindset interventions in schools. However, with increased popularity, there is the potential for misunderstandings and hesitations about what a growth mindset fully entails. Therefore, we sought to disentangle which components of growth mindset messages pre-service teachers find hard to accept alongside their level of agreement with growth mindset questionnaire items. We used a descriptive design with both quantitative and qualitative data to explore 182 pre-service teachers’ responses to growth mindset messages. The results of this study suggest that pre-service teachers hold a growth mindset. However, despite strong quantitative endorsements, in the qualitative analyses we determined three ways in which participants found a growth mindset hard to accept: (1) the notion of mindset theory itself, (2) the level of growth, (3) and the necessary actions behind having a growth mindset. The findings of this study suggest we need to pay close attention to false growth mindsets in theory and practice.

Author Biographies

Gabrielle N. Pelletier, University of Alberta

Gabrielle N. Pelletier is a doctoral student in the School and Clinical Child Psychology program at the University of Alberta. Her research interests include how mindsets play a role in classroom outcomes as well as trauma-informed care training for pre-service teachers. 

Lauren D. Goegan, University of Alberta

Lauren D. Goegan completed her PhD in the Psychological Studies in Education program at the University of Alberta in 2020. Her research focuses on motivation, transition and success for post-secondary students, with particular attention to students with learning disabilities.  

Devon J. Chazan, University of Alberta

Devon J. Chazan is a doctoral student in the School and Clinical Child Psychology program at the University of Alberta. Her research interests involve examining the intersectionality of students' body image and its impacts on motivation and emotion. 

Lia M. Daniels, University of Alberta

Lia M. Daniels is a Professor at the University of Alberta in the Department of Educational Psychology. Her research examines student and teacher motivation and emotions with the hope of creating supportive learning environments.

Published
2020-12-18
Section
Research Study/Recherche