The Stanford professor who pioneered praising kids for effort says we’ve totally missed the point

Jenny Anderson, Quartz, Jan 24, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

We've probably all heard the sarcastic comments about giving every kid a prize for trying, instead of awarding one prize to the winner. The idea of praising effort rather than results is scorned and ridiculed. But as this article notes, if we praise only results, those with more ability are content with an easy win, and those with less ability look for shortcuts and ways to game the system. Praising effort is important. But as reseracher Carol Dweck says "people needed to know" (ironically behind a paywall) the reason effort is important is that it leads to results. "The exciting part of Dweck’s mindset research is that it shows intelligence is malleable... The more they had a growth mindset in 2nd grade the better they did in 4th grade and the relationship was significant."

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