Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Why we should praise effort not ability

In response to @LearningSpy's post how to fix your attitude

Praising effort not ability is the most important strategy for me. In a system, where many schools still set by "current" ability, it's sometimes difficult for us to praise students when they're not doing quite as well as the top student in the top set as it were. It may even seem asthough you're faking it when you praise them for their effort. But if you take a step back and think about it another way.

Imagine you are an athlete, in fact imagine you're a pretty terrible one, so lets say Michael Johnson in 1990, Michael Jordan in 1975 or indeed any athlete in their early years. Michael Johnson failed to make his State trials, Michael Jordon did not make his High School starting line up. Shane Warne couldn't run fast, so he took up spin bowling. Their initial "ability" was poor, but they all became the best in their field because of their "efforts".

The moral of the story (for me to take on board) is to remember that every student is simply on a journey, they have not arrived, they never will as the tracks never end. They will just go far, how far depends on how much you reward their effort. Rewarding their effort is the fuel (motivation) for their journey! No matter how un-natural it seems and how different this strategy is to when you were educated-we must remember-PRAISE EFFORT!

1 comment:

  1. Well said. As to your comment about ability sets; we had discussions in my faculty last year about setting via effort or even mindset. The consensus was that we weren't comfortable enough with the idea. Nut maybe it's time to revisit...