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Evren's picture

Positive Reinforcement

Reading Simone's post got me thinking more generally about how to encourage students. While her example perfectly demonstrates how seemingly innocent compliments can actually negatively affect the growth of a student's creativity, similar influences can hinder student growth in what are classically considered less artistic areas of academics. It may seems innocent to tell a student that he or she is smart, intuitive, etc., suggesting that there is an innate ability. However, such suggestions lead students to believe that their academic ability is not in their control and that they either can or can't, regardless of who their teacher is or what effort they put in. On the other hand, by acknowledging students' diligence and effort they develop stronger work habits and ultimately develop their abilities more than those who believe achievement is innate.


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