A poster in Trinity College School classroom, which encourages students to adopt a growth mindset.

How exactly should teachers and parents be praising children? 

A recently resurfaced study offers educators and parents important guidance for motivating students facing a new school year.

Praising children for their abilities can actually undermine their motivation and performance, according to psychologists Claudia Mueller and Carol Dweck. Conversely, praising a child for their effort helps motivate them to achieve.

“I've worked with many dedicated teachers and, to a person, they would endorse Mueller and Dweck's conclusions,” David Hansen, philosophy and education program director at Columbia University’s Teachers College, told Canadian Affairs.


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Fin DePencier is a journalist, photographer and filmmaker based in Toronto. Over the past few years, he has reported on the ground from Ukraine, Armenia, Lebanon and Kazakhstan as a correspondent for Palladium...