Student Well-Being Video

Student Motivation: Praising Competence Instead of Natural Ability

By Larry Ferlazzo & Emma Patti Harris — December 9, 2019 3:57

Students are more likely to do something if they feel like they have the ability to be successful doing it. This can be accomplished by praising effort instead of natural ability, showing students their growth over a semester, or even having students become teachers to their classmates. Coverage of whole-child approaches to learning is supported in part by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.

Larry Ferlazzo is an English and social studies teacher at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif.
Emma Patti Harris is a deputy managing editor for Education Week who oversees visuals and immersive experiences.

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Coverage of whole-child approaches to learning is supported in part by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, at www.chanzuckerberg.com. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.