Praising Effort Instead of Intelligence
Research shows that when we praise intelligence, people gain the mindset that you either are born smart or you’re not. When we praise students for their effort rather than their intelligence, we help them understand that their intelligence can change and grow. We help them realize that with the right actions and behaviors, they can master new skills.
Instead of saying…
“You are so smart”
“You are so creative”
Try offering effort or process praise.
Praise the strategy
- You found a really good way to do it!”
- “You tried another way to solve the problem!”
Praise with specificity
- “This time you remembered to start your sentence with a capital!”
- “You stayed in your learning space, and kept your concentration!”
- “You never gave up trying to solve that problem!”
- Boy you used a lot of blue today!
- Wow, you wrote 10 sentences today.