The work of Carol Dweck has contributed to the conversation of how much natural ability is required in learning, versus a determined attitude and consistent effort, in other words a fixed or growth mind-set. Dwecks theory is that if you use praise for a what a child is, then the child is more likely to be cautious. However, if you direct the praise towards a child’s effort, then a persistent approach to challenge is encouraged and as a result an increased possibility of achievement.
In the most recent National Improvement Framework document, “How Good Is Our School 4, teachers are asked to assist in the improvement of pupils health and wellbeing. There is evidence to suggest that developing a growth mindset in the classroom can help to boost self-esteem and confidence creating a positive, nurturing classroom environment which, in turn, has a positive effect on pupil motivation and attainment.
As a group, we were very interested in this theory and wanted to gain an insight in to the impact of celebrating effort in our classrooms. I therefore undertook a small scale enquiry to understand, if by celebrating effort would encourage a positive outlook and have a positive impact on achievement.
The aim of this enquiry was to understand the impact on pupils, when I celebrated effort in my classroom.