Carol Dweck (who wrote the book Mindset- which I highly recommend reading) found that:
"bright girls, when given something to learn that was particularly foreign or complex, were quick to give up - and the higher the girls' IQ, the more likely they were to throw in the towel. In fact, the straight-A girls showed the most helpless responses. Bright boys, on the other hand, saw the difficult material as a challenge, and found it energizing. They were more likely to redouble their efforts, rather than giving up."
Mindset is probably one of the books that changed my teaching the most. It truly made me reflect on what praise is and how I give praise to my students. I had never thought about the difference of praise along gender roles, or how that difference plays out in the long-run.
Regardless of whether we are teaching boys, girls, children who have a difficult time settling down or children who are always quiet, hard workers, as teachers it is worth putting thought into how and why we praise our students. How much of an impact do our simple praises have for students in the long run?