Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Peter Ross


The purpose of this study was to examine general education teachers' knowledge and experiences regarding a growth versus a fixed mindset while teaching students with disabilities in Grades K-2. The conceptual framework that was used to guide this study was Dweck's implicit theories of mindsets. Research questions were developed to explore teachers' knowledge and experiences about teaching with a growth mindset versus fixed mindset and how they assessed themselves in terms of teaching with a fixed or growth mindset. The research design was a basic qualitative study that included semi structured interviews and a teacher assessment using a Mindset Quiz. A convenience sampling method was used to recruit 10 general education teachers at a northeastern U.S. elementary school. Data were analyzed through open coding and thematic analysis. The following themes were identified: all participants received no training on how to teach with a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset, all participants were interested in attending professional development on this topic, there was some knowledge of the terms growth versus fixed mindset, and all participants use some type of strategy to help improve student mindsets. The results of this study contribute to positive social change by making educators and administrators more aware of fixed versus growth mindset strategies used in classrooms. This study may bring attention to the concept of mindsets and make educators aware of the need to promote growth mindsets. Additionally, results support the need for professional development for teaching with a growth mindset for students with disabilities. Increased teacher understanding of teaching with growth mindsets can lead to better learning experiences for students in the classroom.