Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Dissertation (UNI Access Only)


Philosophy of mind; Intellect; Teacher educators--Middle West;


Educators strive to improve lifelong learning, and Dweck’s Mindset Theory has the potential to impact relationship-building skills, lifelong learning dispositions, and the effectiveness of our feedback to learners. The Mindset Theory proposes that people possess a fixed or growth mindset regarding their intelligence (Dweck, 1999). People with fixed mindsets believe they have an innate amount of intelligence and that they cannot significantly enhance their intelligence. Conversely, people with growth mindsets believe that their innate intelligence can be significantly improved through learning. Students with growth mindsets are more likely to engage in mastery-oriented learning than their peers with fixed mindsets (Dweck, 1999).

This study sought to make the mindsets of four professors from the education department of a private college in the Midwestern United States more fully revealed through semi-structured interviews. The findings were analyzed using thematic analysis. Three themes manifested themselves regarding the application of Mindset Theory: its impact on relationship building skills, the development of learning dispositions, and the quality of our feedback to learners.

This study suggests that professional development regarding Mindset Theory may be an effective way to improve pedagogy. This study supports that educational leaders have the skills and the desire to apply Dweck’s Mindset Theory to enhance student learning through relationship-building, fostering desirable learning dispositions, and engaging in reflective practice and feedback.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Kinesiology, Allied Health, and Human Services

First Advisor

Kim Huckstadt, Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Rodney Dieser, Co-Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 179 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download