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Systemic threats to the growth mindset: classroom experiences of agency among children designated as 'lower-attaining'

Hargreaves, E; Quick, L; Buchanan, D; (2021) Systemic threats to the growth mindset: classroom experiences of agency among children designated as 'lower-attaining'. Cambridge Journal of Education , 51 (3) pp. 283-299. 10.1080/0305764X.2020.1829547. Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper, the authors consider how Carol Dweck’s concept of growth mindset has been misconceptualised. They explore the proposition that agency is an important aspect of growth mindset and that the effects of hard work by children is reduced when agency is limited. They draw on qualitative data from 84 interviews with 23 participant children who had been designated at the end of their Year 3 as ‘lower-attainers’ in mathematics, English or both. They explore their experiences of this designation across the first two years of the five-year project. Their findings suggested that participants displayed ample capacity for action, curiosity, engagement and creative learning. However, classroom rules sometimes mitigated against children benefiting from these capacities. Children narrated adopting the performance orientation suggested by Dweck, which could lead to a reduced sense of competence, which itself led to less agentic classroom behaviours.

Type: Article
Title: Systemic threats to the growth mindset: classroom experiences of agency among children designated as 'lower-attaining'
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2020.1829547
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2020.1829547
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Low attainment, agency, creative learning, growth mindset, performance orientation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10110792
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