Graduate Student Dissertations, Theses, Capstones, and Portfolios

Date of Award


Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Kathleen Weigel

Second Advisor

Korynne Dunlop

Third Advisor

Adam Kosnitzky


Are grit and growth mindset among the traits needed in order to obtain the position of head of school at an independent school? This study explored whether the non-cognitive traits, grit, which combines passion and perseverance for long-term goals and growth mindset, or the belief that one’s abilities are flexible entities that can develop and improve through effort, are characteristics common to, and predictive of female headmasters.

The data were collected through an online survey involving questions about grit and mindset along with demographic information. This study was designed to describe the nature and strength of the relationship between grit and growth mindset, and the career advancement of women in independent education.

The results of this study suggest that grit is related to success. This finding supports the need to find a way to help reduce the gender gap at this level of leadership. Understanding that grit and growth mindset are valuable and necessary traits can give insight to aspiring heads. If we are interested in seeing more women in leadership positions, we need to encourage the qualities that will enable them to be successful.



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