Growth Orientation and Academic Outcomes: A Study of Students and their Teachers

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Embargoed until 2020-11-01
Copyright: Bostwick, Keiko
Previous educational research on students’ growth constructs and their academic outcomes has been largely focused on the separate examinations of antecedents and consequences of students’ growth mindset and growth goals. This approach has provided a detailed account of the individual functionality of these growth constructs and their predictive value in relation to a variety of academic outcomes. However, there is also a need to examine potential relationships among these growth constructs in order to better understand how they may work together to promote students’ outcomes. The aim of the current investigation, therefore, was to augment existing literature on the individual associations of three major growth constructs (growth mindset, self-based growth goals, and task-based growth goals) on academic outcomes by way of a potential underlying growth orientation. Across four studies conducted in 18 Australian secondary schools, the appropriateness of this proposed underlying growth orientation and its associations with mathematics outcomes (engagement and achievement) was examined. Study 1 (N = 4699 students) found that students’ growth mindset and growth goals were well represented by an underlying growth orientation and that students’ growth orientation was positively associated with their mathematics outcomes. Using a multilevel model (n = 1414 students from 91 classrooms with 91 teachers), Study 2 found that in addition to student-level associations, there were several notable associations at the classroom-level. With a two-wave longitudinal design, Study 3 (n = 2949 students) found that students’ underlying growth orientation was positively associated with gains in students’ mathematics outcomes across one year of school. Finally, using a longitudinal, multilevel model (n = 898 students from 86 classrooms with 86 teachers), Study 4 found that longitudinal associations at the classroom-level may also be salient. In sum, results from the investigation demonstrate that an underlying growth orientation is meaningfully associated with mathematics outcomes, suggesting there is merit in developing more parsimonious educational interventions that target growth more broadly. Thus, alongside work that continues to investigate distinct growth constructs, the present investigation demonstrates it is also important to better understand how such constructs are inter-related and how this shared variance among constructs may benefit students’ academic outcomes.
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Bostwick, Keiko
Martin, Andrew
Collie, Rebecca
Durksen, Tracy
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PhD Doctorate
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