http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13128701 "To find out we need to take a quick detour into the science of expertise, and ask a question. Where does excellence come from? For a long time, it was thought the answer to this hinged, to a large degree, on genetic inheritance. Or, to put it another way, it is all about talent. It turns out that this is mistaken. Dozens of studies have found that top performers - whether in maths, music or whatever - learn no faster than those who reach lower levels of attainment - hour after hour, they improve at almost identical rates. The difference is simply that high achievers practise for more hours." "A study of pianists, for example, showed that the area of the brain governing finger movement is substantially larger than for the rest of us - but it did not start out like this; it grew with practice." "Think how often you hear children saying "I just lack the brain for numbers" or "I don't have the coordination for sports". These are direct manifestations of the fixed mindset, and they destroy motivation. Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, do not regard their abilities as set in genetic stone. These are the youngsters who approach tasks with gusto. "I may not be good at maths now, but if I work hard, I will be really good in the future!"" "A full two-thirds of the students praised for intelligence chose the easy task - they did not want to risk losing their "smart" label. But 90% of the effort-praised group chose the tough test - they wanted to prove just how hard working they were." "This reveals a radical new approach to the way we engage with children - that we should praise effort, never talent; that we should teach kids to see challenges as learning opportunities rather than threats; and that we should emphasise how abilities can be transformed. " A brilliant article and so true in my opinion. And another nail in the coffin of APP and targets and levelling. What matters re a childs progress (regardless of their ability) is how hard they work period.