Growth Mindset, Performance Avoidance, and Academic Behaviors in Clark County School District

By Jason Snipes, Loan Tran

Growth Mindset, Performance Avoidance, and Academic Behaviors in Clark County School District
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Description

Interest has been growing in the role of students’ attitudes, beliefs, and dispositions as key factors that can support or inhibit student academic success. A large body of emerging evidence, including multiple randomized controlled trials, shows that interventions that target academic mindsets, attitudes, and beliefs about the nature of ability and the payoff of effort can lead to improved academic outcomes.

This REL West study examined Nevada Clark County School District student and teacher attitudes and beliefs about:

  • Growth mindset (beliefs about the malleability of ability and the payoff for student effort)
  • Performance avoidance (hiding one’s effort or refraining from making an effort due to concerns of failure or embarrassment)
  • Academic behaviors (e.g., completing homework, participating in class)

Key Findings 

  • Most students reported beliefs that are consistent with a growth mindset
  • Students’ reported levels of growth mindset, performance avoidance, and academic behaviors differed significantly by grade level, prior academic achievement, English learner status, and race/ethnicity
  • Most teachers’ beliefs did not vary significantly according to the characteristics of the students in their schools