The school of hard knocks: Pre-service teachers’ mindset and motivational changes during their practicum

Eleftherios K Soleas, Ji Hong


The mindset and motivation that teachers demonstrate are likely to influence their students’ mindset and motivation. While mindset and motivation of in-service teachers have been investigated thoroughly, the same cannot be said of pre-service teachers. Pre-service teachers’ mindset and motivation are likely developed during in-class experiences or practicum, the latter seen as the defining experience of pre-service teachers’ preparation. Understanding the changes that pre-service teachers undergo during their practicum experiences in terms of theories of intelligence, teaching efficacy, resilience, and grit is therefore crucial. This study used these constructs as examples of mindsets, self-beliefs, capacities, and personality traits. A cross-sectional design compared American and Canadian pre-practicum versus post-practicum pre-service teachers’ growth mindset and motivation and illustrated that similar effects occur across national contexts through a primarily quantitative questionnaire with open-ended questions. Triangulated statistical and thematic analyses illustrated that post-practicum students were less idealistic about the incremental nature of intelligence and reported higher resilience and a more pragmatic approach to teaching than their pre-practicum peers. The study’s findings extended other studies’ findings illustrating that changes occur specifically in teacher mindset as well as their strategies. Teacher education programs informed by these specific changes can capitalize on the pragmatic shift of teachers’ strategy selection while also coaching them to retain an incremental view of intelligence for their students’ benefit.

Palabras clave

Motivation; practicum; pre-service teachers; resilience; teacher education; teacher efficacy; theories of intelligence

Texto completo:

PDF (English)


Akbari, R. (2007). Reflections on reflection: A critical appraisal of reflective practices in L2 teacher education. System, 35(2), 192-207. doi:

Atkinson, E. (2000). In defence of ideas, or why «what works» is not enough. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 21(3), 317-330. doi:

Avalos, B. (2011). Teacher professional development in Teaching and Teacher Education over ten years. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(1), 10-20. doi:

Bandura, A. (1986). The explanatory and predictive scope of self-efficacy theory. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 4(3), 359-373.

Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 1-26. doi:

Bandura, A. (2006). Toward a psychology of human agency. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1(2), 164-180. doi:

Beltman, S., Mansfield, C., & Price, A. (2011). Thriving not just surviving: A review of research on teacher resilience. Educational Research Review, 6(3), 185-207. doi:

Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2003). «In praise of educational research»: Formative assessment. British Educational Research Journal, 29(5), 623-637. doi:

Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 5-31. doi:

Blackwell, L. S., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Dweck, C. S. (2007). Implicit theories of intelligence predict achievement across an adolescent transition: A longitudinal study and an intervention. Child Development, 78, 246-263. doi:

Carver, C. S. (1998). Resilience and thriving: Issues, models, and linkages. Journal of Social Issues, 54(2), 245-266.

Castro, A. J., Kelly, J., & Shih, M. (2010). Resilience strategies for new teachers in high-needs areas. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(3), 622-629. doi:

Chambers, G., Hobson, A., & Tracey, L. (2010). «Teaching could be a fantastic job but …»: three stories of student teacher withdrawal from initial teacher preparation programmes in England. Teachers and Teaching, 16(1), 111-129. doi:

Choi, I., Land, S. M., & Turgeon, A. J. (2005). Scaffolding peer-questioning strategies to facilitate metacognition during online small group discussion. Instructional Science, 33, 483-511. doi:

Day, C., & Gu, Q. (2010). The new lives of teachers. New York, NY: Routledge. doi:

Dellinger, A. B., Bobbett, J. J., Olivier, D. F., & Ellett, C. D. (2008). Measuring teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs: Development and use of the TEBS-Self. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(3), 751-766. doi:

Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 1087-1101. doi:

Dweck, C. S. (1999). Caution--Praise can be dangerous. American Educator, 23(1), 4-9.

Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success activity. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.

Dweck, C. S. (2014). Teachers’ mindsets: «Every student has something to teach me». Educational Horizons, 93(2), 10-15.

Dweck, C. S., & Leggett, E. L. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality. Psychological Review, 95, 256-273. doi:

Freeman, J. G., Stoch, S. A., Chan, J. S. N., & Hutchinson, N. L. (2004). Academic Resilience : A Retrospective Study of Adults With Learning Difficulties. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 50(1), 5-21.

Fry, S. W. (2007). First-year teachers and induction support: Ups, downs, and in-betweens. The Qualitative Report, 12(2), 216-237.

Georgiou, S. N. (2008). Beliefs of experienced and novice teachers about achievement. Educational Psychology, 28(2), 119-131.

Grayson, J. L., & Alvarez, H. K. (2008). School climate factors relating to teacher burnout: A mediator model. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(5), 1349-1363. doi:

Gutshall, C. A. (2014). Pre-service teachers’ mindset beliefs about student ability. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 12, 785-802. doi:

Harfitt, G. J. (2015). From attrition to retention: a narrative inquiry of why beginning teachers leave and then rejoin the profession. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 43(1), 22-35. doi:

Henry, A. (2016). Conceptualizing Teacher Identity as a Complex Dynamic System: The Inner Dynamics of Transformations During a Practicum. Journal of Teacher Education, 1-15. doi:

Hong, J., Nie, Y., Lewis, L., Looney, K., & Soleas, E. K. (2017, April 27). Development and Validation of Pre-service Teachers’ Resilience – Strategy (PTR–S) Scale. AERA 2017, San Antonio, Texas.

Howe, E. (2006). Exemplary Teacher Induction: An international review. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 38(3), 287-297. doi:

Hoy, A. W., & Spero, R. B. (2005). Changes in teacher efficacy during the early years of teaching: A comparison of four measures. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(4), 343-356. doi:

Hudesman, B. J., Crosby, S., Flugman, B., Issac, S., Everson, H., & Clay, D. B. (2013). Using formative assessment and metacognition to improve student achievement. Journal of Developmental Education, 37, 2-13.

Huisman, S., Singer, N. R., & Catapano, S. (2010). Resiliency to success: Supporting novice urban teachers. Teacher Development, 14(4), 483-499.

Jennings, P. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2009). The prosocial classroom: Teacher social and emotional competence in relation to student and classroom outcomes. Review of Educational Research, 79, 491-525. doi:

Johnson, B., Down, B., Le Cornu, R., Peters, J., Sullivan, A., Pearce, J., & Hunter, J. (2014). Promoting early career teacher resilience: A framework for understanding and acting. Teachers and Teaching, 20(5), 530-546.

Jones, M., & Ryan, J. (2014). Learning in the practicum: engaging pre-service teachers in reflective practice in the online space. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 42(2), 132-146. doi:

Kabilan, M. K. (2013). A phenomenological study of an international teaching practicum: Pre-service teachers’ experiences of professional development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 36, 198-209. doi:

Kelly, D. R., Matthews, M. D., & Bartone, P. T. (2014). Grit and hardiness as predictors of performance among West Point cadets. Military Psychology, 26(4), 327-342. doi:

Kelly, S., & Northrop, L. (2015). Early career outcomes for the «best and the brightest»: Selectivity, satisfaction, and attrition in the beginning teacher longitudinal survey. American Educational Research Journal, 52(4), 624-656. doi:

Kutsyuruba, B. (2016). The role of the school administrator in effective teacher induction and mentoring programs. Santa Cruz, Ca.

Lambe, J., & Bones, R. (2006). Student teachers’ perceptions about inclusive classroom teaching in Northern Ireland prior to teaching practice experience. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 21(2), 167-186. doi:

Lavigne, A. L. (2014). Beginning teachers who stay: Beliefs about students. Teaching and Teacher Education, 39, 31-43. doi:

Le Maistre, C., & Paré, A. (2010). Whatever it takes: How beginning teachers learn to survive. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(3), 559-564. doi:

Leithwood, K., & Jantzi, D. (2008). Linking Leadership to Student Learning: The Contributions of Leader Efficacy. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44(4), 496-528. doi:

Leroy, N., Bressoux, P., Sarrazin, P., & Trouilloud, D. (2007). Impact of teachers’ implicit theories and perceived pressures on the establishment of an autonomy supportive climate. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 22, 529-545. doi:

Maehr, M. L., & Meyer, H. A. (1997). Understanding motivation and schooling: Where we’ve been, where we are, and where we need to go. Educational Psychology Review, 9(4), 371-409. doi:

Malone, D., Bryant, L. H., Jones, B. D., & Snyder, J. D. (2012). Preservice and inservice teachers’ implicit theories of intelligence. Teacher Education Quarterly, 87-101.

Mansfield, C. F., Beltman, S., Price, A., & McConney, A. (2012). «Don’t sweat the small stuff»: Understanding teacher resilience at the chalkface. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(3), 357-367.

Martins, M., Costa, J., & Onofre, M. (2015). Practicum experiences as sources of pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy. European Journal of Teacher Education, 38(2), 263-279. doi:

McCormack, A., Gore, J., & Thomas, K. (2006). Early career teacher professional learning. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 34, 95-113. doi:

Moir, E. (1990). Phases of first-year teaching. California New Teacher Project Newsletter [1988-1990].

Nickel, J., Falkenberg, K. O. T., & Link, M. (2015). Initial teacher education in western Canada. Handbook of Canadian Research in Initial Teacher Education, 39.

O’Rourke, E., Haimovitz, K., Ballweber, C., Dweck, C. S., & Popović, Z. (2014). Brain points: A growth mindset incentive structure boosts persistence in an educational game. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3339-3348). New York, NY: Association for Computing Machinery. doi:

Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., Brush, T. A., Strycker, J., Gronseth, S., Roman, T., Abaci, S., … Plucker, J. (2012). Preparation versus practice: How do teacher education programs and practicing teachers align in their use of technology to support teaching and learning? Computers & Education, 59(2), 399-411. doi:

Rattan, A., Savani, K., Chugh, D., & Dweck, C. S. (2015). Leveraging mindsets to promote academic achievement: Policy recommendations. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(6), 721-726. doi:

Reichl, C., Wach, F.-S., Spinath, F. M., Brünken, R., & Karbach, J. (2014). Burnout risk among first-year teacher students: The roles of personality and motivation. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 85(1), 85-92. doi:

Soleas, E. K. (2015). New teacher perceptions of inclusive practices: An examination of contemporary teacher education programs. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 61(3), 294-313.

Soleas, E., & Hong, J. (2017, April 28) Sticking to what works: Pre-service teachers’ mindset and motivation before and after student teaching. AERA 2017, San Antonio, Texas.

Tschannen-Moran, M., & Hoy, A. W. (2001). Teacher efficacy: Capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17, 783-805. doi:

Tschannen-Moran, M., & Johnson, D. (2011). Exploring literacy teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs: Potential sources at play. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(4), 751-761. doi:

Von Culin, K. R., Tsukayama, E., & Duckworth, A. L. (2014). Unpacking grit: Motivational correlates of perseverance and passion for long-term goals. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9(4), 306-312.

Yeager, D. S., & Dweck, C. S. (2012). Mindsets that promote resilience: When students believe that personal characteristics can be developed. Educational Psychologist, 47(4), 302-314. doi:


Enlaces refback

  • No hay ningún enlace refback.

e-ISSN: 1698-7802

DOI prefix: 10.14516/fde


FahrenHouse: Salamanca, España 

Licencia de Creative Commons
Este obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial 3.0 España.