Importance of Accepting Criticism & Growing from Feedback for Students - ODM Public School Blogs - No. 1 CBSE School in Odisha

Importance of Accepting Criticism & Growing from Feedback for Students

by in blog April 25, 2022

Importance of Accepting Criticism & Growing from Feedback for Students

Criticism is hard to take, especially for young-aged students. It can make them feel embarrassed, angry, or simply devalued, depending on the critic’s context and delivery. Yet criticism is unavoidable in every stage of life, and we need to teach children to accept criticism and grow from feedback. As learning from criticism could be a valuable life skill for students, let’s explore the topic of how parents and teachers can help students perceive and handle criticism at home, school and beyond in a healthy way. 


 According to Carol Dweck, Stanford psychologist and researcher, students’ perceptions of criticism are highly influenced by whether they have a fixed or growth mindset. Students with a fixed mindset accept criticism as personal, pointless and spirit-crushing. They see their abilities as fixed for a lifetime and assume that accepting criticism is not going to with their growth, thus expressing embarrassment and angriness while facing such situations. Contrary to this, students with a growth mindset accept criticism as a roadmap for their improvements. They learn to use criticism as a source to map their personal developments.


Utilising a Growth Mindset When it comes to feedback

So, How can we then apply this knowledge of mindsets to assist students in developing a lifelong, healthy relationship with criticism?

* Explain the growth mindset.


Researchers discovered that merely describing and discussing the growth mindset can help students improve their performance and alter their response to criticism. After learning about the growth mindset, one student interviewed by Dweck exclaimed, “You mean I don’t have to be stupid anymore?”

* Praise effort, not skills or intelligence

Focus on the process, not characteristics. For example, say you compliment your middle school student on being an “algebra natural.” If he/she later encounters difficulty with calculus, he/she may chalk it up to a lack of innate ability and give up. In contrast, if we praise the manner in which students approach a problem, we imply that acquiring skills is a result of her own effort rather than what “nature handed her.” In the process, she learns that criticism or feedback is a tool for continued development.

 * Demonstrate a growth mindset


In conversations with students, we can discuss our own struggles and encourage them to do likewise. In these discussions, we can discuss what went wrong, the feedback we received about it, and the specific steps we took to resolve the issue. When our students share their difficulties, we can gently steer them in a direction conducive to growth by asking them, “What did you learn from that?” how can you improve for the future?

Acceptance of Criticism: Strategies for Students

Students can learn the following skills with a growth mindset as their foundation:

Consider and reiterate the criticism. When we detect the first whiff of criticism directed at us, our defence mechanisms and listening and comprehension skills tend to increase. This could cause us to misunderstand either the essence of the significance of what is being said. Avoid potentially unnecessary suffering. Listen to your critic calmly, attentively, and uninterruptedly. Then, restate the criticism in your own words to ensure you fully comprehended it. By listening without interruption, it is less likely that a conversation will escalate into an argument. By restating the criticism, you are emphasising comprehension as opposed to disproving your critic’s concerns.



Observe and reflect the rule of thumb: the stronger your emotional reaction (if any) to criticism, the longer and more significant your pause before responding should be. Restating the criticism buys you some time to gather your thoughts, but do not be afraid to say, “I require some time to consider what you have said. Can we continue the discussion tomorrow?” Then, while reviewing the critical comment(s), you should ask yourself, “Is this criticism valid?” Was it just? Do I agree with some parts while disagreeing with others? Did I make my best effort on [this assignment, game, or chore]? Is my critic qualified and impartial to comment?

Develop a plan of action, separating personal from actionable objectives. When criticism appears to be directed at a personal characteristic as opposed to a behaviour or action, it is important to analyse the comment and ask questions aimed at identifying the specific problem or performance issue and the concrete steps required to resolve it. Then, confront the criticism with a plan of action that puts you in charge of developing your own skills and abilities.

Learning to accept criticism is both a life skill and a lifelong endeavour, and we could all use some encouragement and motivation. Learn more about the importance of thoughtful parenting and how it can promote students to their respective career paths by following ODM Public School, the best CBSE school in Bhubaneswar. For more details on our admission process, check our website or call 1800-120-2316 now. Source: they have a fixed or growth mindset)