Teacher stress and curriculum reform : an illustrative example with the “growth mindset” movement




Wright, Consuela Felice

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Teacher stress can be an important predictor of teachers’ well-being, job satisfaction, and job burnout. There are many factors that contribute to teacher stress and demoralization, including social factors such as parents, students, and administrators. In this report, I explore such social factors as make up a teacher’s ecosystem and then study how curriculum reform interacts with this environment. Previous literature shows that the way school administrators implement curriculum changes is one of the most important predictors of teacher outcomes. I then study an example of curriculum changes that is occurring recently: the “Growth Mindset” movement. After a brief discussion of this attribution theory of learning and motivation, I describe what I learned from an interview with a high school chemistry teacher whose school administrators were attempting to implement growth mindset curriculum changes. In this interview, the teacher discussed how the school administration forced curriculum changes on the teachers without consultation, sufficient time to prepare, or taking into account important factors such as the teachers’ current lesson plans, the subject they were teaching, and individual students’ issues. Future research and interventions to improve teacher-administrator relationships and communication are suggested.


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