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Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs about Intelligence and Instruction Kathleen Cauley, PhD Joseph Tadlock, M.Ed. VCU School of Education Paper presented at the.

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Presentation on theme: "Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs about Intelligence and Instruction Kathleen Cauley, PhD Joseph Tadlock, M.Ed. VCU School of Education Paper presented at the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs about Intelligence and Instruction Kathleen Cauley, PhD Joseph Tadlock, M.Ed. VCU School of Education Paper presented at the MERC conference, March 13, 2012

2  Fixed mindset: Intelligence is an immutable trait that leads people to demonstrate how much ability they have; Entity view  Failure means you aren’t smart; try to arrange successes and avoid failure  Growth mindset: Intelligence is a capacity that can be modified and improved with effort and persistence; Incremental view  Failure isn’t discouraging, it’s a challenge, an opportunity to learn Beliefs about Intelligence: Two Mindsets

3  Parents and Teachers  Type of praise  Type of criticism  How talk about ability  Standards used to evaluate S’s  Willingness to help Where Do The Mindsets Come From?

4 A Teacher’s Mindset Can Affect Instruction  Teachers with an entity view of ability  are less likely to create autonomy supportive environments (Leroy, Bressoux, Sarrazin, & Trouilloud, 2007).  may be less likely to help students,  or may make decisions that enable students to demonstrate their ability such as grading on the curve or displaying highest grades,  give ability praise

5  Few studies have investigated inservice or preservice teachers’ intelligence beliefs (Dweck & Master, 2005; Jones, Bryant, Snyder, & Malone, 2011).  To determine the intelligence beliefs of preservice teachers and examine the relationship between their beliefs about intelligence and their agreement with particular instructional and motivational strategies. The Objective

6 138 students in EDUS 301 classes: 23% male and 77% female. 62% Caucasian, 19% African American, 7% Asian, 4% Hispanic, and 7% other. Of the 138, 45% planned to teach elementary students, 6% middle school, 28% high school, and 20% didn’t plan to teach. Only the 120 students who planned to teach were selected for further study. Participants

7 1.Theories of intelligence: 4 items from Dweck's (1999) theories of intelligence scale. 2.Attitudes toward instructional practices: developed from work by Dweck (1999) on strategies to support incremental beliefs. 3.A rating scale regarding autonomy supportive instructional choices, developed from work by Reeve and Jang (2006) and Jang, Reeve, and Deci (2010). 4. Demographics: gender, ethnicity, and level and content participants plan to teach. Online survey had 4 sections

8  On the Dweck scale, 83% of the preservice teachers indicated intelligence beliefs consistent with an incremental view.  The table shows the percent agreement with each of the instructional strategies. Findings

9 Teachers should Incremental Beliefs % Agree Entity Beliefs % Agree a. Display the work of students with the highest grades as examples to others b. Provide opportunities for students to compete against one another c. Keep everyone together with the same learning activities and assignments d. Insist that students redo assignments until they get it e. Avoid telling students the highest score and the average on tests f. When a student has an easy time with a task, apologize for assigning a task that wasn’t challenging enough to learn from g. Grade students on a curve h. Praise capable students frequently with words like “you’re so smart” or “you’re brilliant” Instructional Practices

10  When a student gets stuck  99% said the teacher should offer a hint or suggestion  When students get frustrated and complain  99% would empathize and acknowledge the students’ perspective  When introducing a new concept  75% said students should be given enough time to figure it our in their own way  When a student does well on a test  83% would tell the S “I can tell that you really understand this. Findings Regarding Autonomy

11  While most preservice teachers appear to hold incremental beliefs about ability, not all do.  Those who do have incremental beliefs frequently endorse instructional and motivational strategies that could engender entity beliefs in students  Those of us in preservice education need to help our students understand the motivational effects of instructional techniques Conclusions

12  To develop incremental beliefs in students, it is best to emphasize effort, persistence and developing ability and  Minimize techniques in grading and instruction that compare students with one another, such as grading on the curve or displaying work with the highest grade, praising ability, etc. Conclusions

13 “But I really think if you focus on their development, I think the winning will take care of itself.” Shaka Smart, 3/6/2012 after winning the CAA championship.

14 Blackwell, L., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Dweck, C. S. (2007). Implicit theories of intelligence predict achievement across an adolescent transition: A longitudinal study and an intervention. Child Development, 78(1), Dweck, C. (1999). Self Theories: Their role in motivation, personality, and development. Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis. Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House. Dweck, C. and Master, A. (2005). Self-theories and motivation: Their impact on competence motivation and acquisition. In Al Elliot and C. Dweck (Eds.) Handbook of competence and Motivation (pp ). New York: Routledge. Jang, H., Reeve, J., Deci, E. (2010). Engaging students in learning activities: It is not autonomy support or structure but autonomy support and structure. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(3), Jones, B. D., Bryant, L. H., Snyder, J. D., & Malone, D. (April, 2011). Intelligence Beliefs of Preservice and Inservice Teachers. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. Leroy, N., Bressoux, P., Sarrazin, P., Trouilloud, D. (2007). Impact of teachers’ implicit theories and perceived pressures on the establishment of an autonomy supportive climate. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 22(4), Reeve, J. & Jang, H. (2004). What teachers say and do to support students’ autonomy during a learning activity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(1), References

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