School-led Mindset Messaging: Understanding Elementary Students’ Meaning and Emotions

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  • Evidence generally supports a positive association between growth mindset and academic outcomes, even if the experimental evidence for growth mindset interventions is somewhat more tenuous. From an applied perspective, the concept of growth mindsets has grown in popularity with a proliferation of materials readily available to teachers and school administrators. The purpose of this multi-method study was to explore elementary students’ (ages 6-12) understanding of growth mindset messaging created by their school and teachers, and its association with students’ emotions. The results showed that students were positively impacted by the growth mindset messaging, both in school and when facing challenges outside of school. Their emotions were largely positive, with the exception of frustration, which participants associated equally with a growth and a fixed mindset. Results are discussed in relation to Mindset Theory broadly as well as in regards to school- and teacher-initiated mindset messages.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International