As educators, we strive to praise our students for their accomplishments and their ability to learn. However, in chapter 3, Dweck discusses the real ingredients of achievement and what makes some people achieve less and some more. Take a moment and think about some common phrases you use when you praise your students...
I praise my students for even the smallest accomplishments. Praising one's efforts communicates to others that they can grow their abilities, cultivate talents, and grow intelligence. However, prior to reading this chapter, I did not know that praise has an effect on our mindset.
What is fixed mindset and growth mindset?
Fixed Mindset - The belief that intelligence is innate and cannot be changed.
Growth Mindset - No matter who you are, you can become a great deal smarter. Students feel smart when they are working on something difficult and can make progress. A growth mindset encourages people to develop their minds fully by embracing challenges and avoiding limiting thoughts which might hold them back.
Take a moment to watch this interesting study on the effect of praise on mindset:
Students are reticent to take risks and more often than not their performance declines. On the other hand, when students are praised for their effort, their performance improves and their effort and motivation increase. Take a moment and think about these questions:
- If people have such potential to achieve, how can they gain faith in their potential?
- How can we give them the confidence they need to go for it?
- How about praising their ability in order to convey that they have what it takes?