” Don’t tell your kids that they are”smart”. More than three decades of research shows that a focus on “learning process and strategies”—not on intelligence or ability—is key to success in school and in life” Carol Dweck
A classic paper by reported in Scientific American by Claudia Mueller and Carol Dweck
about “Growth Mindset” and how we talk to students showed that praising young adolescents for their intelligence—saying they were “smart” when they did well—created a fixed mindset and its problems. It put students in a world in which people evaluate and judge intelligence and does not encourage students to challenge themselves or make the effort and risks needed to learn new things. Praising reinforces their need to show they are smart in every situation by avoiding learning challenges and not making mistakes which undermine the belief that they are “smart”.
Growth Mindset talk which praises the student’s “learning process” like their effort or willingness to seek out more challenges and use different learning strategies to improve their understanding of new material put learners on a growth mindset track and fostered resilience from mistakes and failed attempts.
Bottom Line Tip:
Parents and teachers can engender a growth mind-set in children by praising them for their persistence or strategies (rather than for their intelligence), by telling success stories that emphasize hard work and love of learning, and by teaching them about the brain as a learning machine.