Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Praise Effort, not Potential

Sue vanHattum at MathMama Writes gave a synopsis of several books she had reviewed in her sabbatical year... one that caught my eye:

Dweck, C., Caution: Praise Can Be Dangerous. In American Educator, Spring 1999.
Carol Dweck has written a book, Mindset (2006), which says about the same things this article does, at much more length. The article describes her thesis and her research much more concisely and (in my opinion) effectively. Her claim (proved by her research) is that praising a student’s intelligence makes them wary of harder tasks and of looking dumb, but praising their effort encourages them to tackle harder tasks and enjoy it. She also looks at people who think intelligence is fixed and compares them to people who think effort can change one’s intelligence. People with the second mindset are able to develop their potential much more effectively than those with a ‘fixed intelligence’ mindset.

You can read a little at the link at amazon. I found the first page really hooked me in.

Thanks to Sue for correcting me (in the comments), her blog has links to an article about the book, not the actual book..

1 comment:

Sue VanHattum said...

Minor correction: Those are all articles, not books. And I think I provided a link to the full text of each one, so you can get instant gratification.

Like I said, the article is a better read than the book - and it's free.