Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education



First Advisor

Joel C. Amidon

Second Advisor

Rick Balkin

Third Advisor

Alicia Cooper Stapp

Fourth Advisor

Roy J. Thurston

Relational Format



Research into the use of a Rubik’s cube in an elementary classroom can provide future implications on fostering grit through a growth mindset. Although previous studies show grit to be a predictor of student success, research surrounding the literature does not address how grit can be taught in the classroom. This mixed methods study explored the missing research by examining the differences between cognitive and non-cognitive skills with the influence of a deliberate practice. The Rubik’s cube acted as the instructional tool to foster grit and growth mindset by engaging students in a motivating challenge that builds perseverance and critical thinking skills. The study was conducted using second grade students from a Title I school in the south. The treatment group participate in grit and growth mindset discussions, as well as Rubik’s cube instruction. The control group also participated in grit and growth mindset discussions using motivational PowerPoints and videos, but did not receive any type of Rubik’s cube instruction. Pre-tests and post-tests were used to analyze reading and mathematics change scores, along with grit and growth mindset levels. In addition, the researcher reflected in a teacher journal, collected student responses from writing prompts, as well as conducted teacher interviews to conclude the study.

Accessibility Status

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