Carol Dweck finds that the words adults use to describe kids’ progress affects the children’s belief in their own potential. In this TED Talk, she discusses the power of the process, and the power of allowing children to discover the meaning of effort and difficulty. She argues that we should praise the process (strategies, focus, effort, improvement) rather than intelligence or ability. She says that creating a path into the future that creates greater persistence is more valuable than allowing students to stay within their comfort zone. She calls this the growth mindset, and believes that students can improve and grow through passion and perseverance.
Carol Dweck is a professor at Stanford and the author of Mindset, a classic work on motivation. She has also taught at Harvard and Columbia.