November 15, 2007

How to Praise

Man, I love Scienceblogs. There's a great post on how to praise children over at Cognitive Daily. The key is to give specific praise. It basically equals the whole effort over product thing. You don't tell a kid (or anyone, really) that they're a good artist, but that they did a good job with those paints, or worked hard on that piece, or whatever. That way, when it's time for criticism, they know they can work to fix it and don't just give up. (Something I often see in gifted students who are afraid to fail).

At the same site, they have a great article disproving the idea that the younger a child is, the faster they learn a language. It's an interesting bit of science in a Freakonomics kind of way using international adoptions for their data.