Lauren McCafferty

Primary Teacher

Glencairn Primary

  • Growth Mindset

What Happens When I Use Praise For Effort In The Classroom?


This question was chosen as it is of particular relevance to my own practice as I have some pupils in my class that can struggle to motivate themselves to complete their work. They say they feel like they “can’t do it” or they put less effort into their work as they believe it will never be as good as others in the class. Dweck (2016) argues that effort-based praise allows for pupils to develop what she terms a ‘growth mind-set’, pupils see their learning as a process, not based solely on their intrinsic intelligence. Weaver et al (2004) states effort- based praise leads to the formation of learning goals as opposed to performance goals. This therefore lessens pupil’s anxiety when faced with a problem or failure that may negatively impact their performance. By using effort-based praise pupils become more confident when faced with difficulty which in turn reflects positively on their motivation to work and the quality of their work.


This enquiry will focus on two key aims. The first will be to analyse what happens to pupil’s effort in their work when they are consistently praised for the effort they put into their learning. The second will be to examine how pupils personally felt being praised for their effort and whether they saw a change in their work

Download Practitioner Enquiry