3 Tips To Get More Student Confidence In Your Classroom

1. Praise EFFORT rather than INTELLIGENCE

Placing value on student effort demonstrates that perseverance rather than the outcome of the task is the key to success.

Perceived intelligence is often viewed by the student as a FIXED trait and therefore students who don't considered themselves to be "innately intelligent" might believe they don't have the required ability.


The level of effort they apply is within their control.  When effort/grit/perserverence is praised, self efficacy will consequently be associated with THE PROCESS the student took to complete the task rather than actual outcome.

Use phrases such as:

2. Set tasks that cultivate FLOW

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly refers to flow as a mental state in which self-consciousness disappears, attention is completely focused on the task at hand, and total engagement ensues.

"The ego falls away"

"Time flies"

"Your whole being is involved"

"You're using your skills to the utmost" 

Tasks should be designed specifically to challenge a student JUST beyond their current skill level. It's at this point, we see the emergence of the psychological concept of flow.

Flow/Peak arousal/engagement/performance and hence optimal learning occurs at the sweet spot between anxiety/fear and boredom/futility.

  • If the task is too difficult for the student considering their skill set, the student becomes ANXIOUS
  • If the task is too easy, BOREDOM results

The role of the teacher is to design tasks for students with this idea in mind.

3. Encourage a growth mindset

Research shows that having a growth mindset is associated with:

  • Academic achievement
  • Positive social behaviours
  • Better mental health
  • Higher self esteem
  • Better coping skills

We define a growth mindset as:

"The idea that basic ability and intelligence CAN BE DEVELOPED."

  • Students with a growth mindset perceived traits and intelligence as attributes that can be developed through hard work, perseverance on a task and collaboration with others.
  • Students with a fixed mindset view their traits as innate gifts.

We're interested in the former because it fosters a LOVE for learning, resilience and greater accomplishment!