I came across a very interesting and highly educative RSA doodle about the link between praise and learning. The basic premise is about what are the success indicators, the educators or adults endorse? We may praise a kid for being smart ... and possibly ruin his future efforts or praise the kid for his effort and keep alive the innovative streak in him. It is ultimately important to challenge and help children try different and difficult tasks and all along praise the effort, not the results or the already gifted skills.
Some profound insights from the video:
- Praise the process rather than intelligence itself.
- The latter leads children to a performance or achievement oriented direction; the former (praise for process) leads to further efforts, even if the child suffers setbacks or failures.
- The focus is to help children stay engaged and eager to learn, rather than achieve results.
- When a child says 'it is boring', it actually means the child is afraid to try!
- Convey a value system to children (that hard work is more valuable than rank; that effort is more fulfilling than appearing smart; that honing one's skill is better than resting on one's talent...)
- Keep alive the learning curve... learn at all times and at all costs.