Date of Award





Doctor of Education

Degree Type



Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

First Advisor

Jennifer L. Brown

Second Advisor

Saoussan Maarouf

Third Advisor

Dorothy Whitlow


Efforts in educational settings are increasing towards building cultures of growth mindsets that promote positive outcomes for all stakeholders. Nevertheless, a continuous cycle of false growth mindsets continues to spread among educational entities and parenting practices worldwide. Dweck suggests that many educators, students, and parents have been misguided regarding the mindset theory due to the spread of false growth mindsets. The purpose of this explanatory, sequential mixed methods research study was to compare beliefs and perceptions of growth mindset between P-12 teachers and parents. The theoretical framework of this study was the mindset theory, previously termed as the implicit theories of intelligence. In the quantitative phase, all P-12 teachers and parents from a rural, South Georgia school district were invited to complete a survey. Survey data were collected from the 54 teachers and 32 parents and were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The findings from the quantitative phase were used to select a purposive sample of participants and to develop focus group questions in the qualitative phase. The focus group participants included three teachers from the elementary levels and three parents with students who were enrolled in the elementary and high school levels. After transcribing the data, themes and subthemes were identified using pattern coding. One of the key findings of this study included the high usage of practices that did not foster growth mindsets by teachers and parents. The findings from this study could provide a basis for teacher professional development and parent workshops that are focused on proper growth mindset practices for students at school and at home.