The paradox of praise: fixed and growth mindsets in young children

Facilitator: Evelyn Davis

A key factor in determining whether a child becomes extrinsically or intrinsically motivated is the way we, as teachers or parents, respond to their efforts and achievements.

This workshop will explore how unearned “automatic pilot” praise can interfere with significant learning opportunities and dispositions. We will investigate and refine alternative responses and gain an understanding as to how certain responses can either foster or diminish a powerful “growth” mindset in children.

There will be discussion concerning recent and relevant research, particularly by Carol Dweck, on growth and fixed mindsets. We will consider why some young children are happy to give something a go and take on a challenge without being afraid of making mistakes, compared to other children who are reluctant to attempt something new for fear of failure.