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When college and university faculty participate in high-quality comprehensive courses in effective teaching practices, they report substantial increases in their confidence in using these proven practices, according to a new study from the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE).
Faculty also see significant, positive changes in their mindsets about their ability to impact student learning and their students’ ability to learn.
The study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also revealed that students taught by faculty who participated in ACUE courses perceived significant increases in their own growth mindset, as well as their confidence participating in class, attending office hours, and managing their coursework and deadlines. Analyzed data came from nearly 3,000 student surveys.
Ten colleges and universities nationwide participated in the study, “Impacts of Faculty Development on Faculty’s Mindsets and Self-Efficacy,” including the Borough of Manhattan Community College; California State University, Northridge; Cincinnati State Technical and Community College; Cuyahoga Community College; Georgia Southern University; University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa; University of Houston; Ivy Tech Community College; Lorain County Community College; North Carolina A&T State University; and Ohio Association of Community Colleges.
“Mindsets matter. What we believe about our students’ ability to learn affects what they will learn, or won’t,” said Jonathan Gyurko, Ph.D., ACUE President and Co-founder. “Even though beliefs are famously hard to change, today’s strong findings show that minds change when professors become better teachers. It’s more evidence that the best way to educate many more students for purposeful lives is to ensure effective instruction in every class.”
The study’s approach focused on “gateway” courses, with data collected from more than 570 faculty who participated in ACUE’s comprehensive Effective Teaching Practice Framework courses, as well as more than 1,000 faculty, who have not yet participated in ACUE’s Framework courses, teaching gateway courses.
Faculty were surveyed four times over two years, including using mindset items originally developed by noted researcher Carol Dweck. Students enrolled in gateway courses taught by faculty who participated in ACUE’s comprehensive Effective Teaching Practice Framework courses, were also surveyed.
“The colleges and universities that participated in our study represent the geographic and demographic diversity of the U.S. higher education landscape,” said Meghan Snow, Ed.D., Chief Data Officer at ACUE. “These results, from a variety of institutions, demonstrate that faculty self-efficacy and mindsets improve from high-quality, comprehensive professional development in evidence-based teaching, and we would expect that faculty’s more positive mindsets would result in increased student achievement as well. ACUE will use this enhanced understanding of how confidence and mindset develop alongside teaching practices to deliver even more effective strategies to support faculty growth and foster positive learning environments.”
This press release originally appeared online.
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