A Closer Look: How Middle School Principals' Perceptions about Teacher Mindset Impact Instructional Coaching

Jayson P Snyder, Purdue University


The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine how a middle school principal’s perception about a teacher’s mindset affects how he provides that teacher with coaching and feedback as an instructional leader. The research took an in-depth look at two middle school principals with experience as teacher evaluators and instructional leaders. The theoretical framework for this qualitative study was phenomenology. All data came from interviews conducted with middle school principals. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and confirmed prior to individual and team coding and data analysis. The study was designed to shed light on how a middle school principal’s idea about whether a teacher has a growth or fixed mindset impacts the style and process of instructional coaching. The results of this study indicate that a principal’s belief about a teacher’s mindset has a direct impact on the differing ways the principal provides instructional leadership and coaching for the teacher. Results also indicate that the principal’s perception about the teacher affects the style of verbal and nonverbal communication as well as the way the principal feels about the process of providing instructional coaching. The discussion about these results, along with the recommended future research, will help educators to better understand the critical relationship between principal and teacher and therefore add a new layer to the conversation about instructional leadership.




Hirth, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Educational leadership

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