This is an interesting Washington Post article about the effects of praise and self-esteem building on students and learning. There is a more scientific and precise approach to praise shared here. The article reminds me of a lecture I heard from a gifted education specialist a few years ago who talked about the importance of praising effort and the process of learning versus praising the results. The outcome, to this speaker, was that students who are primarily praised for results or for 'being smart', sometimes through quick and less than thoughtful work, end up without a solid work ethic and and little emphasis on the process of learning, which would serve them better in the long run. This article cites research from Carol Dweck at Stanford at how our focus on self-esteem has backfired. I've also attached a second article from the Wall Street Journal a few years back. See what you think.
In schools, self-esteem boosting is losing favor to rigor, finer-tuned praise http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/in-schools-self-esteem-boosting-is-losing-favor-to-rigor-finer-tuned-praise/2012/01/11/gIQAXFnF1P_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend