Laura Irvine

Primary Teacher

St Ignatius’ Primary School

  • Growth Mindset

What happens when the teacher uses praise for effort in the classroom?


Everyone in the enquiry group agreed that this was a very positive enquiry to conduct in both primary and secondary schools. A high number of children in my class need constant encouragement to maintain working to their full potential. Dweck, C.S. states that “The wrong kind of praise creates self-defeating behaviour. The right kind motivates students to learn”.

I believed that this would impact upon self -esteem, engagement and motivation by supporting (scaffolding) learning and thus improving pupil confidence. McClean, A. states that “It is not possible for all students to be the best, encouraging students to concentrate on achieving their personal best will be important for student self-esteem.” This enquiry also links to growth mind-set and the school improvement plan as they are part of the North Lanarkshire Council CanCan Nurture Approach that is part of the Scottish Attainment Challenge to achieve pupil equity. Dweck, states that “no matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”


The aim of this enquiry was to use a planned and structured approach to measure the impact that praise has on children’s learning, overall participation in class and individual written work tasks.

Download Practitioner Enquiry