Growth or a fixed mindset? What difference does it make to the success of a student teacher?



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GROWTH OR A FIXED MINDSET? WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE TO THE SUCCESS OF A STUDENT TEACHER?

  • Charlotte Meierdirk
  • School of Education and Childhood Studies
  • Twitter @lottiemeierdirk
  • Charlotte.meierdirk@port.ac.uk
  • In collaboration with Dr Frances Warren, School of Psychology
  • Frances. warren@port.ac.uk
  • University of Portsmouth, England

BACKGROUND

  • Approaches to teaching and learning by student teachers during their training and QTS years.
  • Part funded by FHSS (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences)
  • This paper is a study into the changing mindset of the student teacher at the UoP.
  • The UoP has a relatively small cohort of PGCE students with around 100 students enrolled every year.
  • Seven different PGCE subjects are taught: English, Modern Foreign Language (MFL), Mathematics, Science, Business, Geography with Computer Science.
  • All these subjects cover the 12-16 age groups except Business, which is taught to the 14-19 age range. The structure of the PGCE course is the same for all the courses.

WHAT IS THE STUDY?

  • Research is ongoing
  • This study will investigate student teacher’s learning and teaching beliefs and the changes in these, from their acceptance on the ITE course, during the course, at the end of the course.
  • I will focus on the 1st cohort (2015/16)during this presentation.
  • .

WHAT IS MINDSET?

  • A common belief in our society is that people with high ability and self-belief in that ability are likely to embrace the challenges that they tackle in life with high levels of resilience, determination and thus success.
  • However, it is not ability or belief in that ability that predicts resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge and failure (Dweck, 1999); rather it is the individual’s belief about the nature of ability (referred to as Self Theory of Intelligence also known as Mindset).
  • Mary Cay Ricci (2013) explored the differences between an educator’s mindset and a pupil’s mindset. A pupil’s mindset directly affects how they face a challenge and an educator’s mindset directly influences how a child feels about themselves.

WHAT IS GROWTH MINDSET?

  • Individuals with a growth mindset believe that they can develop their intelligence.
  • Dweck (2006) theorises that intelligence is malleable and can be developed. Children who have a growth mindset believe they can learn anything and no challenge is too hard.

WHAT IS FIXED MINDSET?

  • Individuals with a fixed mindset believe that their intelligence is innate (i.e. I was born this way/this is what I am).
  • Praising a child and attributing their success to intelligence, as opposed to effort, encourages the development of a fixed mindset (Pomerantz & Kempner, 2013).
  • Feedback from a teacher who encourages a fixed mindset, for example stating that not everyone is good at maths or English, leads to lower student motivation (Rattan, Good and Dweck, 2012).

METHODOLOGY

  • YourLearning questionnaire – the questionnaire contains a Likert scale that investigates the teacher’s attributes (Developed by School of Psychology, University of Portsmouth).
  • The mindset scale runs between 1-6,
  • 1 = growth mindset
  • 6 = fixed mindset
  • 3 = midway

YEAR 1, 2015/16 COHORT

  • May 2016 - Completed at the end of the PGCE course. Written questionnaire (n=71).
  • No large statistical significance between subject taught and mindset.
  • STEM subjects mean mindset 2.5526
  • Non- STEM subjects mindset 2.6346
  • However, English mean 2.56 and MFL mean 2.7
  • No large difference between male and female students
  • Male 2.5816
  • Female 2.6818

THE GROWTH MINDSET EXTREMES

  • Those students who showed extreme growth mindsets.
  • Most growth mindset were….
  • In the questionnaire they had mindsets of between 1 and 3, with some student teachers reaching a 1.
  • The 10 most growth mindset students consisted of: 1 CS, 3 MFL, 3 Maths, 2 Science, 1 English (1st cohort).

THE FIXED MINDSET EXTREMES

  • Those students who showed extreme mindsets, either fixed or growth.
  • Most fixed mindset were….
  • In the questionnaire they had mindsets of between 4 and 6, which some student teachers reaching a 6.
  • The 6 most fixed mindset students consisted of: 2 Science, 4 MFL(1st cohort).

ANY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TEACHING AND MINDSET?

  • Out of the cohort 7 student teachers ended the year with ‘satisfactory’ for their teaching.
  • Their mindset scores were: 6, 4, 3.5, 3.5, 3.5, 3 and 2.
  • ‘satisfactory’ mean = 3.64
  • Out of the cohort 25 student teachers ended the year with ‘outstanding’.
  • Their mindset scores were: 1,1,1,1,1,2,2,2,2.25,2.25,2.25,2.25, 2.5,2.5,2.5, 3,3,3,3,3,3.5,3.5, 4,5.
  • ‘outstanding’ mean = 2.15

ANY OTHER DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A FIXED/ GROWTH MINDSET TEACHER?

  • Growth
  • Fixed
  • Took feedback to heart
  • Very reflective
  • Questioned things
  • Could see the good in people
  • Fantastic at writing essays
  • Instantly likeable
  • Hard on herself
  • A worrier
  • Optimistic
  • Cried during feedback
  • Everything was black and white – couldn’t see other people’s viewpoints.
  • Didn’t get on with people
  • Only taught the way he wanted

PUBLICATIONS

  • Meierdirk, C. (2017). Research and reflexivity: The discourses of females completing teacher education. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, (In print).
  • Meierdirk, C. (2016). Reflections of the student teacher. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 18(1), 23. doi:10.1080/14623943.2016.1230054
  • Meierdirk, C. (2016). Reflective practice in teacher training. In Horton, S. and Sims Schouten, W (Eds.), Rethinking Social Issues in Education for the 21st Century, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.
  • Meierdirk, C. (2016). Developing a Growth Mindset in Business, Teaching Business and Economics, (19) 3, 25-28.
  • Meierdirk, C. (2016). Is reflective practice an essential component of becoming a professional teacher. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 17(3), 1-10.
  • Meierdirk, C. (2016). The changing identity of the student teacher. International Journal of Education Teaching and Learning, 1 (1), 17-35.
  • Meierdirk, C. (2016). Reflective practice in the business classroom, Economics Business Education Association, 20 (2). 23-25.

WARREN, F., MASON-APPS, E., HOSKINS, S., DEVONSHIRE, V. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN IMPLICIT THEORIES OF INTELLIGENCE, ATTAINMENT, AND SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS IN A UK SAMPLE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN. (SUBMITTED TO LEARNING AND INSTRUCTION) APPERLY, I. A., WARREN, F., ANDREWS, B. J., GRANT, J., & TODD, S. (2011). DEVELOPMENTAL CONTINUITY IN THEORY OF MIND: SPEED AND ACCURACY OF BELIEF-DESIRE REASONING IN CHILDREN AND ADULTS. CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 82(5), 1691-1703. DOI: 10.1111/J.1467-8624.2011.01635.X

  • Publications cont…

REFERENCES

  • Dweck, C. S. (1999). Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality and development. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.
  • Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.
  • Dweck, C. S. (2012). Mindset: How you can fulfil your potential. London: Robinson.
  • Pomerantz, E. M., & Kempner, S. G. (2013). Mother's daily person and process praise: Implications for children's theory of intelligence and motivation. Developmental Psychology, 49. (11), 2040-2046.
  • Ricci, M. (2013). Mindsets in the classroom. 1st ed. Austin, Texas: Prufrock Press.


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