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Interpreting Carol Dweck's Motivation Questionairre

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by mature_maths_trainee, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. mature_maths_trainee

    mature_maths_trainee New commenter

    Hi,
    Sorry if this is a borderline topic for this forum, but I'm applying it in Maths classes and would prefer an answer from mathematically/scientifically-minded people!
    If anyone has used Dweck's Questionairre, and then carefully interpreted the results, I'd really appreciate your help.

    I've recently conducted a largish-scale questionairre amongst my students, part of which included Carol Dweck's 3 key questions relating to 'attribution'. [See, for example, Geoff's Petty's description at: http://teacherstoolbox.co.uk/T_Dweck.html ].
    I'm extremely keen to accurately compare my results with other, internationally-acquired data. But I can't find a proper description of how others' have analysed their data. Geoff says that, using the questionairre, students can be broadly classified into three types:
    - Fixed IQ theorists
    - Untapped Potential theorists
    - and ~15% of students 'in the middle'.

    Does anyone know exactly how these three borad catagorise are defined? I can then use the same classifications on my own data, and see how my classes / school compares to the norm.

    Thanks in anticipation for anyone that can help.
    J
     
  2. mature_maths_trainee

    mature_maths_trainee New commenter

    Hi,
    Sorry if this is a borderline topic for this forum, but I'm applying it in Maths classes and would prefer an answer from mathematically/scientifically-minded people!
    If anyone has used Dweck's Questionairre, and then carefully interpreted the results, I'd really appreciate your help.

    I've recently conducted a largish-scale questionairre amongst my students, part of which included Carol Dweck's 3 key questions relating to 'attribution'. [See, for example, Geoff's Petty's description at: http://teacherstoolbox.co.uk/T_Dweck.html ].
    I'm extremely keen to accurately compare my results with other, internationally-acquired data. But I can't find a proper description of how others' have analysed their data. Geoff says that, using the questionairre, students can be broadly classified into three types:
    - Fixed IQ theorists
    - Untapped Potential theorists
    - and ~15% of students 'in the middle'.

    Does anyone know exactly how these three borad catagorise are defined? I can then use the same classifications on my own data, and see how my classes / school compares to the norm.

    Thanks in anticipation for anyone that can help.
    J
     
  3. The test consists of questions with 6 category based answers 1 meaning 'I agree completely', 6 - 'I disagree completely' and 3-4 in the middle.
    So if you've the raw data you can do chi-squared tests to see whether your sample matches the data collected by Dweck.
    If you have to reduuce the students to 3 categories you have to replicate her data processing step, and the link you gave doesn't give any information on that. Then you can use the chi-squared test again. It's probably better to use the raw data because if you use processed data you assume that the processing step is valid.
    Bascially the whole theory strikes me as therapeutic lying dressed up as science - every biologist knows that variation in human populations is partly genetic and partly environmental, and only some of the environmental difference is in the control of the student. It's almost certainly not true that everyone can do maths to a high level, though it is true that most people can improve thier level of attainment by putting in extra effort. However not all students should be considering mathematics after the compulsory period ends - some should be looking at languages or history or theology, even if they could put in a respectable performance at maths A-level. So a concept of "natural ability" is not entirely destructive.
    However that's by the by.


     
  4. mature_maths_trainee

    mature_maths_trainee New commenter

    Thanks - but just to be clear - it's what you call Dweck's 'data processing step' that I want described to me! I've already conducted the questionairre using the same questions and answer format (and conducted in a context that I consider to be 'fair'). The data processing method must be in the academic literature somewhere (otherwise it's not good science!) - but I'm having great difficulty finding it.
    Ordinarily I'd share your concerns, but the fact that Hattie's evidence points to very similar conclusions gives it considerable weight IMO. Hattie's work is, IMO unquestionably, the most scientifically rigorous there is.
     
  5. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

  6. Got it.

    I think these are the essential sections

    This link should bring up the paper (Theories, attributions and coping).
    http://www.stanford.edu/dept/psychology/cgi-bin/drupalm/system/files/Implicit%20Theories%2C%20Attributions%20and%20Coping.pdf
    The implicit-theories measure described below was used in all the
    studies in the present research.
    Assessment of implicit theories. A three-item questionnaire developed
    by Dweck and Henderson (1988) was used to measure participants' implicit
    theory of intelligence. This measure is similar in format to the one
    used in Chiu, Hong, and Dweck (1997); Chiu, Dweck, Tong, and Fu
    (1997); and Levy, Stroessner, and Dweck (1998; Studies 1-4). The items
    are "You have a certain amount of intelligence and you really can't do
    much to change it"; "Your intelligence is something about you that you
    can't change very much"; and "You can learn new things, but you can't
    really change your basic intelligence." Participants were asked to show
    their degree of agreement with each item on a 6-point Likert scale ranging
    from 1 (strongly agree) to 6 (strongly disagree). Thus, the higher the
    participants' scores, the less they believe that intelligence is a fixed entity.

    Recall that participants' implicit theories were measured on a scale that
    ranges from 1 to 6, with higher scores indicating stronger disagreement
    with an entity theory. Those participants who believe that intelligence is
    fixed (entity theorists) should consistently endorse responses at the lower
    (agree) end of the scale (yielding a mean score of 3.0 or lower), whereas
    participants who believe that intelligence is malleable (incremental theorists)
    should consistently endorse responses at the upper (disagree) end of
    the scale (yielding a mean score of 4.0 or above). Those whose average
    score falls between 3.0 and 4.0 have given mixed answers across items and
    are indeterminate (or mixed) in their beliefs about intelligence. In the
    present research, to select participants with unambiguous beliefs about
    intelligence, we eliminated from the analysis those participants who scored
    in the middle (i.e., who had an average score higher than 3.0 and lower
    than 4.0). Participants with average scores lower than or equal to 3.0 were
    classified as entity theorists, whereas those with average scores higher than
    or equal to 4.0 were classified as incremental theorists.

     
  7. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

  8. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    You will be doing yourself a big favour by completely ignoring anything bgy1mm writes on any of these fora.
    He is not a teacher of any kind - and certainly has limited understanding of even the basics of mathematics - yet is more than willing to spout off on subjects. Rather like Zelig from the eponymous movie, he will try and meld into the conversation.
    One hopes in vain that he will take the hint and return to whichever part of Leeds he inhabits at this moment in time, but to no avail.
     
  9. I slimmed the quote down.
    Can I ask:
    What is the motive behind this data collection?
     
  10. mature_maths_trainee

    mature_maths_trainee New commenter

    Betamale,
    - the purpose of the survey in general was for me to get to know the students' aspirations and beliefs a little better. I had struggled to motivate some of them. I believe it has begun to help me in that regard (I was certainly surprised by some of the answers).
    - the purpose of including Dweck's specific questions was that i) it fitted into the format of my other questions very easily, so was very easy to do ii) (amongst other questions) it helped 'distract' students from the connectedness of the other questions iii) Petty indicates that students identified by Dweck's survey as 'fixed IQ theorists' should be regarded as 'at risk' of under-achieving.
    The reason I conducted quite a large-scale survey was that I was very interested to determine if there were any significant differences in beliefs and attitudes between 'top sets' and 'lower ability sets'. I haven't yet finsihed my analysis of that.

    A very peripheral motivation was that I've been encouraged to carry out such surveys as part of my teacher training. I felt this one worthwhile.


     
  11. I'd be very interested to hear what you find.
    The survey would need to be of a substantial size to eliminate the effect of the individual teacher, which I would expect to be substantial.
    I think you might find that there is a more of a contrast between set 1 and set 2 than between set 1 and a bottom set. Have you built this possibility in to your study?
     
  12. Hi,
    Thanks for your response. This was where I was going with my question. I am aware the work of Dweck is pushed/championed/encouraged in teacher training.
    IMO its an interesting read although I think to than a pupils motives, beliefs in their ability and their attitude to new challenghes is ever changing on a mirco and macro level.
    I dont think teaching 20+ hours a week 8 classes and trying to pigeon hole students into a fixed bracket is ideal.
    Ability is not a fixed point as many have shown but a positive classroom and a can do attitude without should see people through without this method.
    I feel that teacher training is teaching people more and more about the latest gizmos rather than simply getting on with the teaching.
    If you watch a child develop from year 7-11 and span so many different mindsets you may think "was I right to go down that route" One thing is for sure, if you encourage and challenege pupils then they are more likely to succeed.
    I believe spending time on such projects is nice yet not realistic with the similar ones on behaviour management, afl etc etc when you are teaching a full timetable for a 35-40 year career.
     
  13. Up to a point I empathise with this completely Betamale.
    I had Mike Ollterton & co for my PGCE - the king of progressive and mixed ability teaching.
    Reality hit me like a train as I found myself teachign a full timetable in a big school with setted classes, limited resources and a text book orientated POS.

    But I've found it useful in my career always to have had an awareness that there were alternative perspectives and and an with it some aspirations for what I wanted my maths teaching to be.
    Broadband technology has made much more possible now than was possible five years ago Betamale. I think teacher training should be trying to prepare students teachers for the the teaching which is becoming possible as well, of course, as learning from practical experience through placements.
    For examply my student teachers have recently written essays on the relevance of Wolfram Alpha to mathematics teaching and I would expect this to bring them useful insights they would take with them to their work to the benefit of the schools they join.

     
  14. This is the most interesting thread I have ever read. I'd be really interested to see what the results bring - and I intend to do a bit of my own research on this now too! [​IMG]
     
  15. I think for once you and I would agree on something as I was discussing this as a leraning tool with my pupils the other day rather than a cheating tool.
    Anyway back to the topic...lets get all 'nouvo-pedagogy-cool' and do the following for my 8 classes of 220 kids:
    • Put all pupils down as a V, A or K learner
    • Run them all through the Dweck process to establish their drive
    • Sit them round tables, put them in groups and watch their interaction and decode if they are shapers blah etc blah
    • Factor in cross curric activities that pupils can share their learning on depending on the groups they feel comfortable in and establish the areas they can develop PLTS in
    • Make sure we run through the LO 8 thousand times and stop one less time to see if each pupil has got the differentiated work you have set before making them stick post it notes on each other to guess words
    All this BS simply hinders learning the subject we were meant to teach...mathematics
    Planning this gash and delivering 10-20 minutes of watered down maths has led to delivering a poor education (amongst many other factors)
    I have one pupil who has a statement saying he would feel better expressing his maths in pictures, not words.......please cmon.
    • Sit them down
    • teach them maths
    • teach with vigour, passion and challenege pupils
    • set a high level of expectation and discpline
    • empower pupils, support pupils and encourage success and champion those who subscribe
    Chucking sand around and rolling on the floor doesnt teach aquadratic eqautions, elbow grease and a supportive environment does. Mathematics education is not entertaining and catering for poor behaviour IMO

     
  16. mature_maths_trainee

    mature_maths_trainee New commenter

    Just to clarify...
    - Dweck's work has not been mentioned whatsoever in any my teacher training (I stumbled across it in my reading). But you might well be right in saying it's heavily pushed on other courses - I don't know. They've encouraged us to do other surveys (notably VAK - which is the least useful survey I can imagine (since, even if students do have a learning preference, you are advised not to teach to their bias in any case)).
    - I largely agree that such surveys aren't always realistic when you're teaching full time, which is why I'm doing it now. I've chosen a topic where I feel there's most value - which is to better understand my lower-set Year 9's.
    That's not intended to be defensive, just to explain. :)
     
  17. That'll keep you nicely occupied for the rest of your career!
    But seriously - I find bottom set year 9s are quite easy to engage with growth mindset thinking. This is partly because they've often got few inhibitions and little to lose by taking intellectual risks. However they usually don't get access to the kinds of activities which tap into this and they miss out on the higher level maths so they can't move up.
    Personally I find set 2s (ish) suffer from the worst fixed minset issues.
    Just some things to chuck in your thought wok MMT.
     
  18. I like your enthusiasm. For me though this is more admin, less learning.
    I dont think anyone will still agree that intelligence is fixed. Im not usre KS3-KS4 maths is a good place to test that TBH as many average students willing to put the work in will do ok.
    Anyway, back to the questionning of pupils.
    • Some pupils respond in the way they think they should
    • Some pupils don't know what they think
    • Some pupils do but can't articulate it
    • Some don't understand what is being asked of them
    • MANY students motives change over an academic year and certainly a school life
    Where does this leave the pigeon holing? Does it really transfer to the maths lesson and the subject?
    Im a maths teacher and like most certainly not a psychologist. I would like to think I get a feel for the motiveation of a class and teach holistically allowing pupils to explore maths in their own time and discover where they feel they fit in the whole MI spectrum
    The longer we spend trying to psychoanalyse the less maths is taught, the more we pigeon hole the less dynamic a pupil or lesson can be.
    As stated, this is theory that trainees and retired teachers can have great fun with but, IMO, not something to get caught up in class by class, pupil by pupil only for it to either change or not be applicable.
    Is this done at top mathematics uni's, or do pupils sit, listen and learn maths?
     
  19. The more you tag students with 'issues' and 'learning needs', the more they fall into the trap of becoming dependent on them.
    I used to teach student who refused to attempt anything on a worksheet because he was a 'kinaesthetic' learner. I didn't know 'kinaesthetic' meant that you couldn't learn in any other way.
    The only way you'll truly know what makes your students tick is to get to know them. Not via tests, audits and analysis - by an actual, one-to-one, teacher-pupil relationship.
    Show me a VAK 'champion', an analyst of Emotional Intelligence, or a Brain Gym consultant, and I shall wave Occam's Razor in their faces....
     
  20. I assume thats on the top of your lesson plans for observations [​IMG]
    I couldnt agree more though and to add, I think the dynamics of a group on top of the individual is a good measure for your teaching as many are motivated to either learn or to subscribe to a way of thinking based on their envornment.
    If you channel any negativity from the protagonists in a class through challenege and control then the motivation to learn can alter for many.
     

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