Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Nancy Near Philadelphia makes a very interesting point today regarding the use of praise with children:
Smartness, according to the article, is something we can't help having or not having. Effort, on the other hand, is something we can choose to make or not to make. Without positive reinforcement for effort, there is little incentive for the making of it.
Go to her site to read her thoughts on this and get the link for the article.

Doesn't this idea, which I wholeheartedly agree with, offer an indictment to the entire educational system? Do children receive meaningful reward at school for the effort they put in, or the achievement? When I was in kindgergarten I would receive a rating for effort, but never anywhere else. In fact when in college, I was incentivized to exercise minimal effort vs. maximal grade achievement ... and the two were not always aligned. For example, if I could get an "A" or "B" in a class without purchasing the book, I would and did. My effort was the minimal amount expended for the course requirement. If there had been some sort of effort measurement, I'm sure I would have learned a whole lot more.