Monthly Talk: The Problematic Effects of Praise on Self-esteem, Autonomy, and Intrinsic Motivation
Time & Location
About The Event
Do you find yourself using phrases such as 'good boy', 'clever girl' or 'amazing work' etc... when communicating with children? Possibly assuming that it will have a positive impact on the child and produce more similar behaviour or work in future? If you do, or even if you don't - I would like to invite you to explore some reasons and aspects about why it can have the opposite effect of what you think. Praising children can in fact have a whole row of very damaging outcomes, such as fostering a 'fixed mindset' that stops children to enjoy their work and instills a fear of failure as soon as they are faced with a task they deem as challenging. By becoming more aware of the language (and types of praise) we use (if any), we can change children's attitudes to learning and to challenges in life in general, in fundamental ways. We have the possibility of instilling a 'growth mindset', allowing the child to feel excited about trying out something new or challenging without fear of faliour, without fear of being judged as 'stupid' by the parent or teacher. The process of working on a challenging task can in itself become rewarding and the child is allowed to progress and learn freely.
Lucia Baumann is a class teacher at Alder Bridge School with wider responsibilities for Music, Games, Bothmer Movement and she has a wider interest in children's wellbeing and supports approaches in classroom management that steer away from using Behaviourist approaches. Lucia is the coordinator of the Education Section for the UK and she has recently completed a Master of Education in Pastoral Care/Guidance/Pupils Support with Aberdeen University. The title of her thesis is: A journey towards a process of learning and unlearning, shaping and being shaped: The effects of rewards and teacher praise on middle school pupils in the classroom setting.