Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

Jonathan Brendefur, Ph.D.


Keith W. Thiede, Ph.D.


Michele Carney, Ph.D.


Jennifer L. Snow, Ph.D.


Teaching is about constantly evaluating one’s students to best situate them for learning and future progress. Based on such evaluations, the academic expectations teachers hold for their students influence their instructional practice and are mediators of student achievement. Forming accurate expectations of students’ ability and accurate predictions of performance is instrumental to effectively improving instruction and advancing student learning. Therefore, when teachers form inaccurate expectations of student academic performance, students can suffer academically and personally. When teachers’ judgments of student learning are based on accurate information reflecting students and their learning, students can benefit academically and personally. Yet, little research exists that specifically examines teachers’ mindsets, and its influence on the cues teachers use to judge student learning. The research questions for this study are: Is there a relationship between a teacher’s judgment accuracy and mindset? What are the cues that fixed and growth mindset teachers use to make their judgment of students’ learning and academic performance? Does the teacher’s mindset influence this cue-usage? The purpose of this study is two-fold: the first quantitative study examines the correlation between teachers’ mindset (growth or fixed) and their ability to accurately judge students’ academic performance; the second qualitative study explores the cues that teachers with a fixed or a growth mindset use to judge their students’ learning and academic performance. The accuracy (or inaccuracy) of teachers’ judgment may shed light on connections between teachers’ mindset and expectations, and how well teachers actually know their students, leading to practical implications in teacher education, teaching, and teacher-student interactions.