AVID students' perceptions of intelligence : a mixed methods study.




Becker, John Darrell.

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Students' perceptions of intelligence have been shown to have an effect on learning. Students who see intelligence as something that can be developed, those with a growth mindset, often experience academic success, while those who perceive intelligence to be a fixed entity are typically less likely to take on challenging learning experiences and tend to respond negatively to setbacks in learning. The purpose of this study was to assess whether a college preparatory intervention known as Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), through its system of academic and social supports for students, has an effect on participating students' perceptions of intelligence. Participants in the sequential, embedded, mixed methods study were 54 students participating in the AVID program, and 43 demographically similar non-AVID students at a Central Texas high school. Participating students' perceptions of intelligence was measured in an online environment using Carol Dweck's three-item survey, which comprised the quantitative data. Qualitative data collection involved participating students answering open-ended questions related to the curriculum and instruction in the AVID classroom that influence students' perceptions of intelligence. AVID students whose score indicated a growth mindset were selected for qualitative data analysis. Quantitative results showed no statistical difference between AVID and non-AVID students' perceptions of intelligence, including students with two or more year's exposure to the AVID program. However, the qualitative data revealed that AVID students are hearing messages and participating in activities consistent with the growth mindset, and they report that AVID has affected their perceptions of what it means to be "smart."



AVID., Intelligence., Motivation., Growth mindset.