Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Jennifer Butcher

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Sandra Harris

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Christie Bledsoe


The problem that drove this study was that students who struggle in school, especially those with a non-intelligence-based learning disability, suffer from a fixed mindset after years of feelings of failure in school. This mindset causes them to develop maladaptive approaches to learning that inhibit success. The purpose of this study was to describe the best practices of reading teachers who have a reputation for high student achievement and who adhere to a growth mindset in an effort to build a growth mindset culture with their students. This qualitative instrumental case study was conducted through interviews of eleven reading teachers/specialists from both elementary and secondary education. The findings indicated that students who have a fixed mindset of learning due to a learning disability often demonstrate maladaptive approaches to learning that include shutting down, avoidance behaviors, and acting out behaviors. The findings revealed several strategies that can effectively help these struggling students move from a fixed mindset to more of a growth mindset. These strategies included creating a safe and trustful class environment, creating success experiences for students, and teaching brain science and mindset theory. Finally, the findings revealed obstacles that teachers face in their work to move these students to a growth mindset to improve their achievement and the practices they use to overcome those obstacles.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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