Dweck (2007) argued that students who possess a growth mind-set, in which they believe their intelligence and abilities can constantly be developed; outperform pupils who possess a fixed mind-set, who believe that their intelligence is simply a fixed trait. Dweck believed that student’s mind-sets “played a key role in their motivation and achievement” and that “if we changed students’ mind-sets, we could boost their achievement”.
Dweck (2012) also believed that the manner in which adults praise the success of children has a direct effect on the particular mind-set a child develops: fixed or growth. She stated that instilling a growth mind-set belief in children would allow them to become more motivated and more confident, and this can be achieved using praise for effort: “commending students for the processes they use – engagement, perseverance, strategies, improvement – fosters motivation, increased effort, willingness to take on new challenges, greater self-confidence, and a higher level of success”.
The aim of this practitioner enquiry was to assess the impact, if any, that the use of praise for effort had on pupils’ motivation, enthusiasm, and engagement.