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Teachers' Theories of Intelligence and Intelligence Feedback in Secondary Education England

Cutler, C (2021) Teachers' Theories of Intelligence and Intelligence Feedback in Secondary Education England. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Research indicates individuals hold implicit intelligence beliefs on a continuum from an entity theory, where intelligence is fixed, through to an incremental theory, with intelligence recognised as malleable (Dweck, 1999). According to Haimovitz & Dweck (2017) teachers’ theories of intelligence are important in maintaining and priming students’ intelligence beliefs, as intelligence beliefs are antecedents to student motivation (Yeager & Dweck, 2017). Therefore, it is important to understand teachers’ intelligence beliefs and their enactment of intelligence feedback in-situ. Research in teacher beliefs suggests both teacher belief and practice are nuanced with wider contextual considerations (e.g., influence of school policy) (Fives & Buehl, 2014), and that context plays a large role in guiding teacher feedback. Further investigation into the intelligence belief-intelligence feedback relationship of teachers may assist with our understanding of the manifestation of intelligence beliefs in intelligence feedback. As few studies have investigated the role of teacher intelligence beliefs and their intelligence feedback (Rissanen et al., 2018a; 2019), this Doctoral research aimed to provide further insight into the intelligence belief-intelligence feedback relationship. Data were collected through a mixed-methods design with ten Secondary school teachers in England. The data collection procedure consisted of an implicit theory of intelligence self-report (De Castella, 2015), video recorded lesson observation (coding teacher intelligence feedback) and a semi-structured interview, including stimulated-recall. Teachers were required to discuss their intelligence feedback in interviews, where segments of video observations were used for reflection. This methodological approach was considered a strength of the research, given that teachers could provide attributions to their own intelligence feedback, which was corroborated with self-reports. Data were analysed using a two phase approach, with phase one answering the three research questions associated with the Doctoral study, through thematic analysis. Phase two analysis was undertaken using an abbreviated grounded theory approach, in order to utilise the data, which went beyond the research questions and gain further insight into participant intelligence beliefs, in-situ experiences and feedback attributions. Findings indicate that the intelligence belief-intelligence feedback relationship of teachers was influenced by other teacher beliefs about students (e.g., social background and behaviour) and context (e.g., school, school policy and exam pressures). In addition, the self-reported intelligence beliefs of teachers within this Doctoral study did not always align with verbalised intelligence beliefs and intelligence feedback. Thus, intelligence beliefs were not always salient to teacher intelligence practice, as previously hypothesised (Haimovitz & Dweck, 2017). This Doctoral study identified beliefs which are stronger influences on intelligence feedback, such as school context, and provides a unique contribution to the literature in highlighting the limited role of teachers’ theories of intelligence on intelligence feedback in naturalist scenarios. Given the complexities of the belief-practice relationship, as identified by others (e.g., Buehl & Beck, 2014; Rissanen et al., 2018a; 2019), a hypothesised model of the intelligence belief-intelligence feedback relationship is also presented, as part of the findings, which is an additional contribution to the literature of teachers’ theories of intelligence.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education; Secondary Education; Intelligence; Theories of Intelligence; Mindset; Growth Mindset; England
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Divisions: Education
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2021 11:34
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2022 16:06
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00014663
Supervisors: Mallaburn, A, Putwain, D and Daly, A
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14663
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