Mindset, motivation, and teaching practice: psychology applied to understanding teaching and learning in stem disciplines

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Abstract

Psychological theories of motivation and performance are relevant to teaching and learn-ing in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The present study applies Dweck’s mindset theory of motivation to an examination of the re-lationship among instructor mindset, instructor motivational attitudes, and the use of ef-fective teaching practices. Faculty members who teach undergraduate courses in STEM disciplines completed a survey designed to assess fixed versus growth mindset, mastery orientation (measures of motivation and efficacy), and teaching practices. Results support-ed a model consistent with Dweck’s theory of motivation, whereby mastery orientation mediates the relationship between instructor mindset and teaching behaviors. It appears that this psychological theory of motivation may be helpful in understanding teaching and learning in STEM disciplines. More research using a variety of measures and teaching con-texts is necessary before full applicability can be realized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberar46
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalCBE Life Sciences Education
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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