Campus Location

Dallas Campus

Date of Award

Fall 11-13-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Department

School of Educational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair

Kristin O'Byrne

Second Committee Member

Jenifer Williams

Third Committee Member

Lisa Hobson

Abstract

Growth mindset strategies are linked to positive academic behaviors. Additionally, it is common knowledge that a school’s learning environment and the teachers’ attitudes and points of view are influential on student learning. However, leaders of school districts continue to struggle with effecting necessary changes to alter schools’ culture and implement practices that align with growth mindset. One North Texas suburban school district (Coppell Independent School District) is leading a shared effort to ensure growth mindset culture and practices are implemented district-wide. The purpose of this single case study was to understand how district leaders, school leaders, and teachers incorporated growth mindset principles into the culture and educational practices at Coppell and how they perceived the impact of growth mindset. A sample of 15 administrators, leaders, and teachers participated. The results of thematic analysis of semistructured interviews and document analysis revealed mindset is incorporated into the culture and educational practices as revealed through the following themes: (a) leaders and teachers live and support growth mindset; (b) the environment is designed to promote growth; (c) building positive relationships is a priority; (d) valuing growth is promoted through language and communication; (e) failure, struggles, and mistakes are okay; (f) risk and effort are encouraged; and (g) assessment and grading practices emphasize learning. Results of the thematic analysis of interviews and documents on the impact of growth mindset include (a) there is a positive impact of unleashing the potential of individuals and the group and (b) continuous improvement and self-reflection are a result of growth mindset. Recommendations for future research and for school districts considering implementing growth mindset into their culture and educational practices are provided.

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