“Doing” mindsets in the classroom: A coding scheme for teacher and student mindset-related verbalizations

  • Naomi M. P. de Ruiter University College Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6511-2199
  • Katja N. van der Klooster Department of Developmental Psychology, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
  • Sander Thomaes Department of Psychology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Keywords: mindsets of ability, implicit theories, classroom discourse, student-teacher interaction, observational research


There is a growing body of research showing the crucial role that students’ growth versus fixed ability-mindsets have in their school achievement, enjoyment, and resilience. The overwhelming majority of this research adopts a variable-oriented approach. As a result, little is known about how teachers and students co-regulate each other’s mindsets within classroom interactions. This manuscript addresses the need for more person-oriented research that examines how teachers and students do mindsets in naturalistic settings, i.e., their mindset-related verbalizations. In this manuscript, we provide a coding scheme to study the moment-to-moment dynamics of mindset-related verbalizations of both teachers and students within Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) contexts: The STEAM (Student-TEAcher-Mindset) coding scheme. We demonstrate the utility of the coding system through content and ecological validity, inter-rater reliability, and a case study of STEAM-generated time-series data. We show how these data can be used to chart moment-to-moment dynamics that occur between teacher and student. The coding scheme provides teachers and researchers with a practical tool for analyzing how person-specific mindset-related language can wax and wane in the context of peer and teacher interactions within STEM lessons.