The co-dependency and dynamics of teacher and student fixed- versus growth-mindset behavior

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


The importance of students’ theories of intelligence has been largely established, where students with a growth mindset tend to show more progress and motivation in school than students with a fixed mindset. Adult feedback plays an important role in eliciting children’s ‘growth-oriented’ responses to difficult tasks versus ‘fixed-oriented’ responses. But how do teacher feedback and child responses regulate each other within the classroom? Using a process approach, this study is the first to delve into the continuous moment-to-moment co-dependency of these behaviors within the classroom. We filmed 10
different elementary-school teachers as they interacted with their students during math lessons. Each teacher and student utterance/action was coded based on whether it can be characterized as being ‘growth-oriented’ or ‘fixed-oriented’. Transition diagrams were created for each dyad based on the teacher- and student-utterances and behavior. The transition diagrams reveal the patterns of actions and reactions within and across teach-student dyads. By investigating continuous teacher-child interactions as they naturally occur within the classroom this study provides unique insight into the within- and between-individual variability of teachers’ feedback and children’s responses related to fixed and growth mindsets, and into the bi-directional nature of these behaviors. This approach is in contrast with existing research, which commonly focuses on group differences based on highly controlled snap-shots of adult feedback and child responses, which has thus been unable to explore the variability and dynamics of these relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16-Aug-2018
Externally publishedYes
EventEarli/SIG 8 - 16th International Conference on Motivation 2018 - Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 15-Aug-201817-Aug-2018


ConferenceEarli/SIG 8 - 16th International Conference on Motivation 2018
Abbreviated titleICM


Dive into the research topics of 'The co-dependency and dynamics of teacher and student fixed- versus growth-mindset behavior'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this