Growth Mindset Lessons and the Effects on Middle School Students' Attitudes and Effort in Mathematics
Master of Arts in Education (MA)
achievement, attitude, confidence, growth mindset, intervention, math identity, mathematics, middle school
Helen Hawley-Davis, Pamela A. Redmond, Jim O'Connor
National and international math assessments such as TIMSS and NAEP show students in the United States are underachieving in mathematics and lagging behind other developed nations. In the district that is the setting of this study, unsuccessful solutions such as math interventions classes were implemented to improve math achievement. An intervention that has demonstrated more promising results is Carol Dweck's model of growth mindset. Research on growth mindset has shown that growth mindset lessons can lead to increased math achievement but the literature about the effects of growth mindset lessons on other characteristics of success is lacking (Dweck & Mueller 1998; Blackwell et al., 2007; Yeager & Dweck, 2012). The present study adds to the literature in this area. This study took place at a public middle school in Northern California with a convenience sample of 41 seventh grade students in math intervention classes. Most students in the study are Hispanic (66%), from low socio-economic households (72%), and all are at least a grade level behind in math. Students in this pre-experimental, mixed method, pretest posttest study completed math performance tasks and responded to questionnaires before and after participating in a series of growth mindset lessons. From pretest to posttest, students showed statistically significant increases in math achievement (p=0.0001), positive attitudes toward math (p=0.0271), and confidence in their math ability (p=0.0323). By using growth mindset lessons in their classrooms, educators have the ability to impact students on many levels.
Arthofer, L. (2016). Growth Mindset Lessons and the Effects on Middle School Students' Attitudes and Effort in Mathematics. Retrieved from https://touroscholar.touro.edu/tucgsoe/227