Instruments to Measure Elementary Student Mindsets about Smartness and Failure in General and with respect to Engineering

Pamela S. Lottero-Perdue, Cathy P. Lachapelle
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Abstract


The aim of this study was to assess evidence for the validity of General Mindset (GM) and Engineering Mindset (EM) surveys that we developed for fifth-grade students (ages 10-11). In both surveys, we used six items to measure student mindset to determine if it was more fixed (presuming intelligence is fixed and failure is a sign that one is not smart enough) or more growth-minded (presuming one can become smarter and that failures are signals to improve) (Dweck, 1986). We administered surveys to 2473 fifth-grade students (ages 10-11) who learned one or two engineering units during one academic year. Using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) then Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), we identified a single factor for each survey. We assert that there is strong evidence for the validity of using the GM or EM survey with students ages 10-11. The EM survey should be given after students have engaged in engineering classwork in school.

Keywords


Elementary school, Engineering education, Smartness, Failure Mindset

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References


Lottero-Perdue, P.S. & Lachapelle, C. P. (2019). Instruments to measure elementary student mindsets about smartness and failure in general and with respect to engineering. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology (IJEMST), 7(2), 197-214.


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