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Growth Mindset in Veterinary Educators: An International Survey.

  • Guttin, Talia1
  • McKay, Todd2
  • Light, Tracy Penny2
  • Wise, Lauren Nicki1
  • Baillie, Sarah3
  • 1 St. George's University School of Veterinary Medicine, True Blue, Grenada, West Indies. , (Grenada)
  • 2 Department of Educational Services at St. George's University, True Blue, Grenada, West Indies. , (Grenada)
  • 3 Bristol Veterinary School, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU UK.
Published Article
Journal of veterinary medical education
Publication Date
May 25, 2023
DOI: 10.3138/jvme-2022-0128
PMID: 37229549


Carol Dweck's mindset theory describes whether an individual believes that attributes, like intelligence or morality, can be honed (growth mindset) or are innate (fixed mindset). An educator's mindset impacts their approach to teaching, students' learning, participation in faculty development, and wellbeing. Mindset can affect faculty members' openness to curricular change, making the study of veterinary educator mindset timely and salient, as competency-based education is spurring curricular change worldwide. The purpose of this study was to examine the mindsets of veterinary educators internationally. A survey, consisting of demographic questions and mindset items (based on previously published scales), was distributed electronically to veterinary educators internationally, at universities where English is the primary instruction medium. Mindset was evaluated for the following traits: intelligence, clinical reasoning, compassion, and morality. Scale validation, descriptive statistics, and associations to demographic variables were evaluated. Four hundred and forty-six complete surveys were received. Overall, the study population demonstrated predominantly growth mindsets for all traits, higher than population averages, with some variation by trait. There was a small effect on years teaching towards growth mindset. No other associations were found. Veterinary educators internationally who participated in this study demonstrated higher rates of growth mindset than the general population. In other fields, a growth mindset in educators has had implications for faculty wellbeing, teaching and assessment practices, participation in faculty development, and openness to curricular change. Further research is needed in veterinary education to evaluate the implications of these high rates of growth mindset.

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