“Praise for high ability is a common response to a job well done.Whether its on the sports field or in the classroom, nothing seems more natural than to commemorate individuals achievements by applauding their abilities in some way.” ‘Praise for inteligence can undermine children’s performance and motivation’, Claudia M. Mueller and Carol S. Dweck.
Carol Dweck’s research is well known and her findings have been used the world over with teachers when talking about how we praise our students. How do our actions impact on how our students see themselves? Do we encourage a fixed or growth mindset?
In a very simplified form Dweck’s research suggests that praising for intelligence and ability encourages a fixed mindset while praising for effort encourages a growth mindset. So knowing this how do we praise the students in our classes? If someone observed our classes over time what conclusion would they draw about how we offer praise?