Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Heather Miller, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Tom Cavanagh, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Brian Roland, Ed.D.


Carol Dweck is known for her definition of the growth mindset. Benefits of leading with the growth mindset versus the fixed mindset are playing a significant role in educational settings today. Educational leaders are working to create a culture and environment that exemplifies positive outcomes for all stakeholders. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to gain an understanding of the growth mindset of educational leaders. Two research questions guided this study: What are the experiences of educational leaders regarding the growth mindset? What are the experiences of educational leaders regarding the growth mindset as these experiences relate to training teachers and staff members? The sample was a purposeful sample consisting of 11 educational leaders in a large suburban district. Participants were principals, assistant superintendents, superintendents, and district department leaders. The data collection instruments were face-to-face interviews, member checking sessions, and a personal narrative. The inductive analysis model was used to analyze data collected from interviews and member checking sessions. Initial coding and pattern coding was used to identify codes and to collapse and reorganize these codes to identify emergent themes. The key findings of this study were that participants understood the connection between core leadership attributes and how these attributes contribute to the culture of an organization to support growth mindset initiatives. The interviewees suggested schools need transformational leaders who are passionate, resilient, and are willing to take risks. Participants viewed evaluating and measuring the impacts of the growth mindset as a key factor in supporting implementation.

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