Teacher Attitudes, Beliefs Affect College Student Achievement

Teacher Attitudes, Beliefs Affect College Student Achievement
AP Photo/Sioux City Journal, Tim Hynds

FutureEd's recent report on Teacher Mindsets illustrates how adult attitudes, beliefs and behaviors are critical drivers of student outcomes in our K-12 education system. The report detailed how teacher beliefs and actions can signal expectations and motivate students to persist in the face of challenges. Not surprisingly, the same holds true in higher education. Recent research confirms that the attitudes and beliefs of college instructors have an influence on student achievement, especially for African-American, Latinx and Native American students. In a longitudinal, university-wide study that included 150 professors in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and more than 15,000 students, researchers found racial achievement gaps were twice as large in courses taught by faculty who believed that intellectual ability is fixed, when compared to those taught by faculty who believed that student ability could grow with effort.

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