Feedback that orients students toward mastery and that emphasizes the role of effort and practice rather than “intelligence” or inherent “ability” is an important factor in guiding students toward successful long-term habits of mind. The experimental and quantitative evidence listed here reveals the advantages of strategies such as providing feedback that encourages perseverance, focusing on development of efficacy and self-awareness, encouraging the use of specific supports in the face of challenge, and emphasizing individual effort rather than relative performance. The scholarly reviews and expert opinions offer more classroom-based perspectives on the importance of providing mastery-oriented feedback to students.
Experimental & Quantitative Evidence
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:Prentice Hall.
Bandura, A., Barbaranelli, C., Caprara, G. V., & Pastorelli, C. (1996). Multifaceted impact of self-efficacy beliefs on academic functioning. Child Development, 67(3), 1206-1222.
Bangert-Downs, R. L., Kulik, C., Kulick, J. A., & Morgan, M. (1991). The instructional effects of feedback in test-like events. Review of Educational Research, 61(2), 213-238.
Blackwell, L. S., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Dweck, C. S. (2007). Implicit theories of intelligence predict achievement across an adolescent transition: A longitudinal study and an intervention. Child Development, 78(1), 246-263.
Borkowski, J. G., Weyhing, R. S., & Turner, L. A. (1986). Attributional retraining and the teaching of strategies.Exceptional Children, 53(2), 130-137.
Butler, R. (2005). Competence assessment, competence, and motivation between early and middle childhood. In A. J. Elliot, & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 202-221). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Chapin, M., & Dyck, D. G. (1976). Persistence in children's reading behavior as a function of N length and attribution retraining. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 85(5), 511-515.
Craske, M. L. (1988). Learned helplessness, self-worth motivation and attribution retraining for primary school children. The British Journal of Educational Psychology, 58 (Pt. 2), 152-164.
Craven, R. G., Marsh, H. W., & Debus, R. L. (1991). Effects of internally focused feedback and attributional feedback on enhancement of academic self-concept. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(1), 17-27.
Deci, E. L., & Moller, A. C. (2005). The concept of competence: A starting place for understanding intrinsic motivation and self-determined extrinsic motivation. In A. J. Elliot, & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 579-597). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Duchardt, B. A., Deshler, D. D., & Schumaker, J. B. (1995). A strategic intervention for enabling students with learning disabilities to identify and change their ineffective beliefs. Learning Disability Quarterly, 18(3), 186-201.
Dweck, C. S. (2000). Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality, and development. Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis Group.
Dweck, C. S., & Leggett, E. L. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality. Psychological Review, 95(2), 256-273.
El-Alayli, A., & Baumgardner, A. (2003). If at first you don't succeed, what makes you try,try again? effects of implicit theories and ability feedback in a performance-oriented climate. Self & Identity, 2(2), 119-135.
Fowler, J. W., & Peterson, P. L. (1981). Increasing reading persistence and altering attributional style of learned helpless children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 73(2), 251-260.
Fyrstén, S., Nurmi, J. E., & Lyytinen, H. (2006). The role of achievement beliefs and behaviours in spontaneous reading acquisition. Learning and Instruction, 16(6), 569-582.
Heyman, G. D., Dweck, C. S., & Cain, K. M. (1992). Young children's vulnerability to self-blame and helplessness:Relationship to beliefs about goodness. Child Development, 63(2), 401-415.
Horner, S. L., & Gaither, S. M. (2004). Attribution retraining instruction with a second-grade class. Early Childhood Education Journal, 31(3), 165-170.
Hughes, C. A., Ruhl, K. L., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (2002). Effects of instruction in an assignment completion strategy on the homework performance of students with learning disabilities in general education classes. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice (Blackwell Publishing Limited), 17(1), 1-18.
Kamins, M. L., & Dweck, C. S. (1999). Person versus process praise and criticism: Implications for contingent self-worth and coping. Developmental Psychology, 35(3), 835-847.
Kennelly, K. J. (1981). Reinforcement schedules, effort vs. ability attributions, and persistence. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Los Angeles, CA.
Kline, F. M., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (1991). Development and validation of feedback routines for instructing students with learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 14(3), 191-207.
Lackaye, T., Margalit, M., Ziv, O., & Ziman, T. (2006). Comparisons of self-efficacy, mood, effort, and hope between students with learning disabilities and their non-LD-matched peers. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 21(2), 111-121.
Lee, J. K., & Lee, W. K. The relationship of e-Learner’s self-regulatory efficacy and perception of e-learning environmental quality. Computers in Human Behavior, 24(1), 32-47.
Linnenbrick, E. A., & Pintrich, P. R. (2002). Motivation as an enabler for academic success. School Psychology Review, 31(3), 313-327.
Linnenbrick, E. A., & Pintrich, P. R. (2003). The role of self-efficacy beliefs in student engagement and learning in the classroom. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 19(2), 119-137.
Loper, A. B. (1984). Accuracy of learning disabled students’ self-prediction of decoding. Learning Disability Quarterly, 7(2), 172-178.
Meltzer, L., Roditi, B., Houser, R. F., & Perlman, M. (1998). Perceptions of academic strategies and competence in students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 31(5), 437-451.
Miserandino, M. (1996). Children who do well in school: Individual differences in perceived competence and autonomy in above-average children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(2), 203-214.
Mueller, C. M., & Dweck, C. S. (1998). Praise for intelligence can undermine children's motivation and performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(1), 33-52.
Okolo, C. M. (1992). The effects of computer-based attribution retraining on the attributions, persistence, and mathematics computation of students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 25(5), 327-334.
Pajares, F., & Kranzler, J. (1995). Self-efficacy beliefs and general mental ability in mathematical problem-solving.Contemporary Educational Psychology, 20(4), 426-443.
Pflaum, S. W., & Pascarella, E. T. (1982). Attribution retraining for learning disabled students: Some thoughts on the practical implications of the evidence. Learning Disability Quarterly, 5(4), 422-426.
Ryan, R. M., & Grolnick, W. S. (1986). Origins and pawns in the classroom: Self-report and projective assessments of individual differences in children's perceptions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 550-558.
Salomon, G. (1984). Television is "easy" and print is "tough": The differential investment of mental effort in learning as a function of perceptions and attributions. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76(4), 647-658.
Schunk, D. H. (1982). Effects of effort attributional feedback on children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74(4), 548-556.
Schunk, D. H. (1983). Ability versus effort attribution feedback: Differential effects on self-efficacy and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 75(6), 848-856.
Schunk, D. H. (1984). Sequential attributional feedback and children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76(6), 1159-1169.
Schunk, D. H., & Cox, P. D. (1986). Strategy training and attributional feedback with learning disabled students.Journal of Educational Psychology, 78(3), 201-209.
Schunk, D. H., & Pajares, F. (2005). Competence perceptions and academic functioning. In A. J. Elliot & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 85-104). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Schunk, D. H., & Rice, J. M. (1993). Strategy fading and progress feedback: Effects on self-efficacy and comprehension among students receiving remedial reading services. The Journal of Special Education, 27(3), 257-276.
Schunk, D. H., & Zimmerman, B. J. (1997). Developing self-efficacious readers and writers: The role of social and self-regulatory processes. In J. T. Guthrie, & A. Wigfield (Eds.), Reading engagement: Motivating readers through integrated instruction (pp. 34-50). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Shih, S. (2007). The role of motivational characteristics in taiwanese sixth graders' avoidance of help seeking in the classroom. Elementary School Journal, 107(5), 473-495.
Stipek, D., & Heidi Gralinski, J. (1996). Children's beliefs about intelligence and school performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(3), 397-407.
Stipek, D. J. (1996). Motivation and instruction. In D. C. Berliner, & R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology. (pp. 85-113). New York: Simon & Schuster/Macmillan.
Stipek, D. J., & Gralinski, J. H. (1991). Gender differences in children's achievement-related beliefs and emotional responses to success and failure in mathematics. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(3), 361-371.
Surber, C. F. (1980). The development of reversible operations in judgments of ability, effort, and performance.Child Development, 51(4), 1018-1029.
Thomas, A., & Pashley, B. (1982). Effects of classroom training on LD students’ task persistence and attributions.Learning Disability Quarterly, 5(2), 133–144.
Wolters, C. A., Yu, S. L., & Pintrich, P. R. (1996). The relation between goal orientation and students' motivational beliefs and self-regulated learning. Learning and Individual Differences, 8(3), 211-238.
Yasutake, D. (1996). The effects of combining peer tutoring and attribution training on students' perceived self-competence. Remedial and Special Education, 17(2), 83-91.
Scholarly Reviews & Expert Opinions
Ames, C. A. (1990). Motivation: What teachers need to know. Teachers College Record, 91(3), 409-421.
Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Bandura, A. (1993). Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning. Educational Psychologist, 28(2), 117-148.
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W.H. Freeman.
Cimpian, A., Arce, H. M., Markman, E. M., & Dweck, C. S. (2007). Subtle linguistic cues affect children's motivation. Psychological Science : A Journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 18(4), 314-316.
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. (2003). Safe and sound: An educational Leader’s guide to evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs. Chicago, IL: Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.
Fulk, B. J. M., & Mastropieri, M. A. (1990). Training positive attitudes:" I tried hard and did well!". Intervention in School and Clinic, 26(2), 79-83.
Guthrie, J. T., & Cox, K. E. (2001). Classroom conditions for motivation and engagement in reading. Educational Psychology Review, 13(3), 283-302.
Harter, S. (1990). Causes, correlates, and the functional role of self-worth: A life-span perspective. In R. J. Sternberg, & J. Kolligian (Eds.), Competence considered (pp. 67-97). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Researched-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
McTighe, J., & O’Connor, K. (2005). Seven practices for effective learning. Educational Leadership, 63(3), 10-17.
Onosko, J. J., & Jorgenson, C. M. (1998). Unit and lesson planning in the inclusive classroom: Maximizing learning opportunities for all students. In C. M. Jorgenson (Ed.), Restructuring high schools for all students: Taking inclusion to the next level (pp. 71-105). Baltimore, Maryland: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
Vacca, R. T. (2006). They can because they think they can. Educational Leadership, 63(5), 56-59.
Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Self-efficacy: An essential motive to learn. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 82-91.
Zimmerman, B. J., & Kitsantas, A. (2005). The hidden dimension of personal competence: Self regulated learning and practice. In A. J. Elliot & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 509-526). New York, NY: Guilford Press.