“In one study, fifth grade students were given a task to learn that intentionally confused them at first. It was the girls who were derailed by the confusion and unable to learn the material. Notably, the highest IQ girls struggled the most.
Children praised for their effort or strategies — what’s called “process praise” — develop a growth mindset and become more motivated to tinker with a problem than solve it right off the bat.
Starting in infancy, parents tend to give boys more process praise, an advantage that results in a greater desire for challenge, and a growth mindset, later on. In the classroom, teachers give boys more process feedback, inviting them to try new strategies or work harder after a mistake. As a result, boys learn to see challenges and setbacks as things they can tackle with the right plan.
Girls, perhaps seen as well-motivated already, are given fewer messages to try harder or again. They are left to wonder whether their challenges reflect something deeper about their ability.”
Read more: CNN Opinion: Why do girls fail?