The impacts of teaching growth mindset strategies to students in inquiry science 2 at Ferndale High School
Schuman, Catherine L.
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This classroom research project investigated the impact of teaching 20 minute growth mindset lessons once a week for six weeks to regular tenth grade science students during weeks six to twelve of an eighteen week semester. Growth minded students appreciate challenges and view mistakes as opportunities to learn. The project was driven by the desire to improve student behavior and engagement in learning. In addition to seeing if students would become more growth minded, I also wanted to see if student achievement in science would increase, if students could transfer their learning about mindsets to other courses and life experiences, and I wanted to know how this would impact me as the teacher. Data sources included a Measure Your Mindset Survey, individual student interviews, student work, gradebook data, a Mindset Unit Evaluation, and a teacher reflective journal. Data from the six week treatment period was compared to data from the six week pre-treatment period and the six week post-treatment period. Students that fully participated and engaged in the mindset lessons became more growth minded. Overall grades did not improve as a result of the treatment. However, mean test scores did go up. Students reported applying what they learned about the growth mindset to other courses. In addition, students felt that having a growth mindset helped them be more compassionate to aggressive peers. The teacher saw observable improvements in student behavior and engagement as documented in the teacher journal. This made teaching more enjoyable. In addition, by learning about how to facilitate a growth mindset culture in the classroom, the teacher was able to improve her verbal and written feedback to students.