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Praising students instead of punishing them can improve the approach by up to 30 percent, according to a study

Hey, teacher, leave those children alone! Praising students instead of punishing them can improve the approach by up to 30 percent, according to a study

  • The experts monitored 2,536 students in the classrooms of the United States over a period of three years.
  • Students went from kindergarten to sixth grade level, or between 5–12
  • Those who received more praise from the teachers were more attentive.
  • By improving the student focus, more positive classrooms could increase grades

Praising students for their efforts in the classroom, instead of punishing their bad behavior, can improve the approach by up to 30 percent, according to a study conducted in US schools. UU.

The experts monitored more than 2,536 students in the US. UU. Over a period of three years to see how attentive they were in relation to the proportion of praise and reprimands that the teachers gave.

With the student approach linked to their final grades, making teachers spend more time praising their students in class could help boost learning, the team concludes.

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Praising students for their efforts in the classroom, rather than punishing them, can improve their focus by up to 30 percent, according to a study conducted in US schools. UU. (File Image)

Praising students for their efforts in the classroom, rather than punishing them, can improve their focus by up to 30 percent, according to a study conducted in US schools. UU. (File Image)

Psychologist Paul Caldarella of Brigham Young University and his colleagues spent three years monitoring 151 classes with a total of 2,536 students from 19 elementary schools in the states of Missouri, Tennessee and Utah.

The students who participated in the study were between 5 and 12 years old or, in other words, from kindergarten through sixth grade.

The researchers found that students concentrated up to 20-30 percent more when teachers had the special task of keeping track of the relative number of praise and reprimand statements they made to the class.

This approach included participating in class activities such as attending what the teacher said or working on assigned homework.

“Unfortunately, previous research has shown that teachers often tend to reprimand students for behavioral problems as much or more than they praise students for their appropriate behavior,” said Dr. Caldarella.

This, he added, “can often have a negative effect on classrooms and student behavior.”

“Praise is a form of teacher feedback, and students need that feedback to understand what behavior is expected of them and what behavior teachers value.”

“Even if the teachers praised as much as they rebuked, the students’ homework behavior reached 60 percent.”

“However, if teachers could increase their ratio of praise to reprimands to 2: 1 or more, they would see even more improvements in the classroom.”

“Unfortunately, previous research has shown that teachers often tend to reprimand students for behavioral problems as much or more than they praise students for their appropriate behavior,” said Dr. Caldarella (archive image)

In the study, half of the classrooms that researchers observed followed a behavioral intervention program called Intervention Teams related to class-wide function (CW-FIT).

In this program, students are informed about the social skills they are expected to exhibit during class hours, and then they are praised or rewarded for doing so.

The team noted that the benefits offered by teachers that improved their proportions of praise for reprimands existed in both classes under the CW-FIT program and those in which teachers used their typical classroom management practices.

“Everyone values ​​being praised and recognized for their efforts, it is a big part of fostering children’s self-esteem and confidence,” said Dr. Caldarella (archive image)

Previous studies have reported a link between the time students spend paying attention in class to their overall academic performance.

This would suggest that, by improving the approach, praise could help boost learning and improve children’s grades.

“Everyone appreciates being praised and recognized for their efforts, it is a big part of building children’s self-esteem and confidence,” added Dr. Caldarella.

“ Reinforced behavior tends to increase, so if teachers praise students for their good behavior, such as attending to the teacher, asking for help properly, etc., it is logical that this behavior increases and learning improves. ” .

However, the researchers also emphasized that strong instructional techniques and other evidence-based classroom management strategies are also required to maintain student attention.

The full findings of the study were published in the journal. Educational psychology.

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