Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Lori C Bland

Committee Member

Tracy L Cross

Committee Member

Margaret E Constantino


Implicit mindset of intelligence influences teachers’ conceptions of giftedness which can influence pedagogical decision-making that relate to gifted students. Teachers implicitly view intelligence as either a limited quantity or a quality that can be developed over time (Dweck, 2008b). The mindset of intelligence that a teacher holds impacts the expectations that are placed on students. However, general education teachers may not have a solid conception of giftedness (Kaul & Davis, 2018). Thus, a gifted program which relies on general education teachers for instructional delivery may not adequately meet the academic needs of the gifted students within the program. The program evaluation used an embedded single-case, utilization-focused evaluation design to understand how general education elementary teachers within an elementary school conceptualize giftedness through the framework of Carol Dweck’s (2000) Implicit Mindset Theory and how implicit mindset of intelligence and conceptions of giftedness contribute to pedagogical decisions that are made. The mixed methods evaluation was comprised of two phases. Phase 1 included a quantitative survey. The survey produced descriptive data about implicit mindset of intelligence. Phase 2 included teacher selected lesson plans, and semi-structured interviews. Qualitative data about implicit mindset of intelligence, conceptions of giftedness, and pedagogical decision-making were collected from the lesson plans and interviews. These data taken together provided insight into how teachers’ pedagogical decisions are influenced by teacher implicit mindset of intelligence and teacher conceptions of giftedness. The implications for fostering an incremental mindset and increasing general education teacher professional learning opportunities are discussed.


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