Sara MacCallum


Coatbridge High

  • Growth Mindset

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


Discovering different ways in which teachers can motivate pupil learning and encourage progressive, positive behaviour in the classroom is a topic area of teaching and learning which has been discussed in depth before. McLean (2003) discusses a reciprocal relationship between pupils and teachers, stating that teachers can either be “transformers or amplifiers” of pupil motivation. This viewpoint brought about the understanding that it is then imperative that as teachers we understand effective strategies and techniques that can be used in the classroom to ensure that we transform the attitudes of demotivated pupils and amplify that of self-motivated pupils.

Blackburn (2014), discusses the importance of teachers encouraging effort rather than simply focusing on quality and ability especially as work becomes more rigorous for pupils and can cause them to “give up” easily. I wanted to focus on creating a positive learning environment through praising pupils when they displayed a good level of effort regardless of ability or quality to find out what the effects of this would be in the classroom.


Does ‘praise for effort’ encourage pupils to try harder in classroom?

Do pupils feel more confident with their work when praised for effort?

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