There has been extensive research undertaken in recent years to establish the use of praise on pupils’ efforts in the classroom. The growth mindset theory confirms that praising learners hard work and strategies has many benefits. Dweck, a pioneer for growth mindset, states that “People with a growth mindset attach more value to learning than to appearing smart, adopt learning goals, like to work harder, see setbacks as a challenge to cope with and are more motivated to persevere.” (Dweck cited in Glerum, 2019) This differs to learners who have a fixed mindset: they believe they have a certain amount of intelligence and are only concerned with tasks that will make them look smart, rather than challenge themselves to accomplish more. (Dweck, 2007) During a period of remote learning, there existed many challenges in engaging learners. As the use of praise is a regular feature within my practice, it was important that this was still implemented in the online classroom. Praise not only encourages positive behaviour, but also motivates learners and helps build their self-esteem. It should focus on “children’s efforts and accomplishments rather than being an evaluation of individual abilities and/or outcomes.” (Conroy, 2009, pg.19) In addition to this, the Curriculum for Excellence aims to “enable all young people to become successful learners with enthusiasm and motivation for learning, determination to reach high standards of achievement, and have an openness to new thinking and ideas.” (Scottish Government, 2008, pg.22) By undertaking this enquiry, I aimed to measure the impact praise for effort could have on online engagement and also understand how pupils responded to receiving different variations of praise during an extremely challenging time.
The aim of this enquiry was to establish if there was an in increase in online engagement when praise was used for efforts and to understand how pupils felt receiving different variations of praise on a digital platform during remote learning.