Encouraging children to try better is an important part of our work at Axé Boom Boom. But is just saying “Well done” enough?
Just praising a child on their intellect, ability or talent with commenting they are good students isn’t enough as according to Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychology professor. It’s better “when children are praised for the process they engage in – their hard work, their strategies, their focus, their persistence – then they remain motivated learners.”(1).
We noticed at Capoeira classes that it’s easier when we praise our students when we notice even a small improvement! We praise the process, the improvements of moves and making music rather than an ability or talent to perform a task in a certain way. We believe that this will develop a growth mindset in our students.
Tapping into some of your comments from our first post, I’d like to talk briefly about fixed and growth mindset in relation to children’s physical education. First what is fixed and growth mindsets.
According to Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries the fixed mindset is the belief that your natural abilities are fixed and cannot be developed just by working hard, listening to advice from others, etc. when growth mindset is the belief that you can develop your natural abilities by working hard, listening to advice from others, etc.
With fixed mindset a student would would focus on their results as they are now and often say “I can’t do the exercise”. We found that adding “yet” to what they say changes the way they perceive the situation which in turn develop a growth minds. For example: “you can’t do the exercise yet, lets find a way to develop your skills so you can do the exercise”
Person with growth mindset seeks goals that they can work towards accomplishing and that’s what we encourage our brilliant students to do (especially just before Batizado 😉 )
Answering the question form the beginning of this post: is just saying “Well done” enough? The answer is no, so what would be better is for example: “I like how focused you were doing this balancing exercise. You first said that you can’t do it but I think you couldn’t do it yet and by trying again you improved! Well done!”
Let’s encourage our children do progress towards their goals developing growth mindset and prising them with more than just “Well done”
And let’s prise ourselves as well so lastly, I like that you kept going and read the blog to its end, well done 😉
1 Perseverance key to children’s intellectual growth