The Science of Raising Smart Kids

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Very interesting article at Scientific American showing how the types of praise you give your kids can affect their mindset as they develop, and determine what kind of intelligence they’ll favor as they grow – rigid or flexible.

…the students with a growth mind-set felt that learning was a more important goal in school than getting good grades. In addition, they held hard work in high regard, believing that the more you labored at something, the better you would become at it. They understood that even geniuses have to work hard for their great accomplishments. Confronted by a setback such as a disappointing test grade, students with a growth mind-set said they would study harder or try a different strategy for mastering the material.

The students who held a fixed mind-set, however, were concerned about looking smart with little regard for learning. They had negative views of effort, believing that having to work hard at something was a sign of low ability. They thought that a person with talent or intelligence did not need to work hard to do well. Attributing a bad grade to their own lack of ability, those with a fixed mind-set said that they would study less in the future, try never to take that subject again and consider cheating on future tests.

Reading this has already make me think twice about how we praise our kids.  Perhaps it’s time for less "you’re so smart!" and more "great job, you worked so hard, and it shows!"  Link, via Slashdot.

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