Strong empirical evidence exists indicating language can influence students’ beliefs about ability. Professional literature for teachers offers practical advice on how to adjust their classroom-based talk to support student achievement by orienting students toward an incremental theory of ability. Yet, little empirical work has been done to investigate how teacher talk plays out moment-to-moment within the classroom context. This study reports on a qualitative analysis of one upper elementary teacher's talk with regard to implicit theories of learning. Findings suggest teacher talk is dynamic and overlapping, operating along a continuum from entity-oriented talk to incremental-oriented talk across varied classroom situations. Additionally, a relationship was identified between teacher autonomy and the implicit theories of learning used in the teacher’s talk. Examples of varied teacher talk during classroom activities are presented, and scholarly and practical implications for language use, learning, and instruction are included.
& Fremeau, R. D.
Implicit Theories of Learning as Reflected in One Upper Elementary Teacher's Talk.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 45(11).