Reflecting on their mission increases preservice teachers’ growth mindsets

Anke Heyder, Ricarda Steinmayr, Andrei Cimpian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When teachers believe that students' abilities are fixed, their students' motivation, well-being, and performance tend to suffer. While many interventions have been developed to reduce these so-called fixed mindsets in students and increase the belief that abilities are malleable (i.e., a growth mindset), there are no cost-effective, scalable interventions targeting teachers' mindsets. To address this need, we developed a brief intervention consisting of a reflection task in which teachers thought and wrote about their mission as educators. Two experiments with preservice teachers (total N = 576) revealed that this brief intervention increased their growth mindsets (meta-analytic d = 0.25). This increase did not dissipate over the course of a week (meta-analytic d = 0.26), suggesting the intervention's effects are not ephemeral. Although more work is needed to establish the robustness and generalizability of this intervention's effects, it may ultimately become a useful tool for teacher education programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101770
JournalLearning and Instruction
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Growth and fixed mindset
  • Intervention
  • Reflection
  • Teacher education
  • Teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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