Individual Presentation

First Presenter's Institution

Clifton Ridge Middle School Jones County School System

Second Presenter's Institution


Third Presenter's Institution


Fourth Presenter's Institution


Fifth Presenter's Institution




Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills


“HEAD”. Academic Achievement & Leadership – The proposal presents strategies and tools to aid in closing achievement gaps and promoting learning for all children and youth. Mindsets of growth versus fixed mindsets are linked to promoting learning. Mindsets for all stakeholders to include teachers, leadership, students and their parents affect how students approach challenges and tasks while learning.

“HEART”: Social & Emotional Skills – The proposal presents strategies and tools to aid in learners social and emotional skills while learning. Mindsets of growth aid in achievement motivation, academic resilience, and self-esteem to persevere when presented with a challenge or task.

Participants will be able to participate in activities and gain strategies to help students and other stakeholders embrace growth mindsets versus fixed mindsets.

This proposal is highly connected to Strand II: Social and Emotional Skills. The presenters will be providing program participants with specific steps that teachers can take to foster a culturally responsive classroom and school environment. Practitioners will be able to use the cultural activities and strategies to help students from diverse backgrounds to feel comfortable in and positive about their learning environments, and create classrooms where the learning community can truly be developed and flourish.

Brief Program Description

We have heard that the 'mind is a terrible thing to waste'. This session supports where the ‘Mind is set Matters Most!’ Activities and strategies that K-12 teachers and parents can implement will aid a diverse student population to have growth mindsets that are set for A.G.E. – Achievement, Growth, and Excellence despite the subject or task!


Often times students, teachers, and parents possess and develop mindsets that are fixed, which unfortunately negatively affect Achievement, Growth, and Excellence. This presentation will share practical models, programs, methods, strategies and practices that are based upon the research of Carol Dweck. Dweck’s leading research in motivation and her focus on why people succeed is important. Dweck (2010) emphasized that the importance of equity in education for all students extended beyond equal access to facilities and resources. Although facilities and resources are important, it is increasingly becoming more important to capture the beliefs of administrators, teachers, students, and parents that can affect student achievement. This presentation will share Dweck’s (2006b) research which outlined two beliefs regarding intelligence: fixed or growth mindsets. Students with fixed mindsets believe that some people are intelligent and others are not. Students with fixed mindsets believe that intelligence is a static trait. Conversely, students with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed through effort and instruction. The growth mindset does not outline that everyone is the same but does imply that everyone’s intellectual ability can grow.

Mullis et al. (2012) shared results from successive TIMSS administrations that showed a strong positive relationship within countries between student attitudes toward mathematics and their math achievement, supporting research findings that students with more positive attitudes toward mathematics and science have higher average achievement in mathematics and science. Mullis et al. (2012) further outlined this relationship as bidirectional, with achievement and attitudes mutually influencing each other. Those students who perform well academically in mathematics are also the students more likely to enjoy learning mathematics.

The presenter will be sharing with participants many activities and valuable information to make assessments of mindsets of students, parents, and most importantly, mindsets of themselves, as teachers. Furthermore, session participants will receive research-based and teacher-created activities for immediate implementation that foster growth versus fixed mindsets in the classroom.


Farrington (2013) defined academic mindsets as “the psycho-social attitudes or beliefs one has about oneself in relation to academic work” (p. 3). Students are compelled to engage or not engage in learning according to their attitudes and beliefs. Dweck, Walton, and Cohen (2011) stated, “Students need to think of themselves and school in certain ways in order to want to learn and in order to learn successfully” (p. 3)

Farrington (2013) recommended that educators should not accept the myths that maintain students who struggle do not care about their education or failure. Failure has a negative and sometimes devastating effect on a student’s sense of self. Students who fail often feel incapable and inadequate, rather than prepared and equipped to be successful in the future.

Dweck (2015) revisited her research regarding students’ mindsets and the way they view their abilities. She found that students’ mindsets play a key role, and if a way to change students’ mindsets was found, motivation and achievement would increase. Once students learn that they can “grow their brains” (Dweck 2015, p. 1) and increase their ability intellectually, students perform better. Dweck admitted that, as years have passed, she and other researchers have become wiser regarding implementation of the growth mindset. The growth mindset is about more than effort and should not be equated to effort, which is a common misconception. Effort is important, but strategies and feedback are necessary to maximize student benefits from having a growth mindset (Dweck, 2015).

Rattan et al. (2015) reported that with proper implementation, academic mindsets are powerful. They recommended disbanding curricula and structural interventions that are often expensive and ineffective. Instead, academic mindset interventions are low cost, supported by research, and capable of modification for large-scale utilization (Paunesku et al., 2015) and “highlight the critical role that the psychology of a student plays in determining educational outcomes” (Rattan et al., 2015, p. 721).

However, policymakers and other stakeholders have not taken advantage of its role in achievement. Rattan et al. (2015) acknowledged that mindsets are not the universal cure or remedy, but contended they are indeed entry points with proper implementation. Federal, state, and local policy can help to lift the nation’s educational outcomes by leveraging mindsets. Improvement of educational outcomes is a necessity to “benefit individual students and to increase our national economic growth, social well-being, and global competitiveness” (Rattan et al., 2015, p. 721). Academic mindsets cannot answer all of the challenges facing educators, yet they will benefit students and thereby deserve greater attention from policymakers and other stakeholders.

Fogarty (2016) outlined 13 principles for teaching, learning, and leading in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Fogerty (2016) further explained how students either “’buy in’ or ‘opt out’ of the intelligence game” (p. 105). Students possess an understanding that they can develop and grow, which mirrors a growth mindset, or students believe they are smart or dumb, which is a static mindset. The static mindset leads students to believe nothing can change their inherited intelligence. Students’ decisions to “buy in” or “opt out” greatly affect their journey of learning. The decisions of students often make or break their cycle of success.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Stephanie Leggett

Clifton Ridge Middle School – Educator over 17 years Jan. 2001 – present)

One of Georgia’s first Master Teachers

Appointed as a Georgia Professional Standards Commissioner (GaPSC) by Governor Sonny Perdue (2009-2013)

17+ years in Education

8 years – 8th grade Math teacher

9+ years – Instructional Coach Title I Family Engagement Coordinator


B.S. – Middle Grades Education (Mathematics and Social Studies)

Mercer University 2000

M.Ed. – Middle School Mathematics (Grades 4-8)

Walden University 2007

PhD – Curriculum & Instruction

Mercer University 2017

“The Role of Academic Mindsets Upon The Mathematics Achievement of Eighth-Grade Female Students”

Keyword Descriptors

Academic mindsets, motivation, attitude, beliefs, academic achievement, growth mindset

Presentation Year


Start Date

3-5-2018 1:15 PM

End Date

3-5-2018 2:30 PM

Mar 5th, 1:15 PM Mar 5th, 2:30 PM

Motivate My Mindset: Teachers, Parents and Students setting their minds on Achievement, Growth and Excellence!


We have heard that the 'mind is a terrible thing to waste'. This session supports where the ‘Mind is set Matters Most!’ Activities and strategies that K-12 teachers and parents can implement will aid a diverse student population to have growth mindsets that are set for A.G.E. – Achievement, Growth, and Excellence despite the subject or task!