Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Chapter 11/Chapter FAQ

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Things to know about Classroom Management

Written By: Rebecca Burton

Learning Targets:

1. The student(s) should be able to describe the characteristics, theories, and arguments associated with intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

2. The student(s) should be able to identify the different types of educational practices associated with classroom management: positive discipline, negative discipline, cooperative learning and brain based learning.

3. The student(s) should be able to define the key ideas outlined in the locus of control praise debate.

Chapter FAQs:

Q: What is positive discipline and what are some practices used in the classroom to implement it?

A: "Positive discipline (or PD) is a discipline system used by schools that focuses on the positive points of behaviour"("Positive Discipline and APA",2009). Some practices commonly used in the classroom to implement positive discipline include recognition and rewarding of good behaviors. Recognizing good behaviors can distract from the bad behaviors and may encourage students to engage in good behaviors to obtain rewards or the attention of the teacher. Having mutual respect for both teacher and student is a critical factor in successful positive discipline. Asking for students' input, using encouraging body language, ignoring actions that are undesirable, using consistency, encouraging children to redirect negative behaviors to positive behaviors, and making positive comments are all additional ways in which positive discipline can be implemented in the classroom (Doescher and Burt, 1995).

One professor at Old Dominion University, Katharine Kersey, created 101 principles of positive discipline to use in the classroom, at home, or wherever. Here is a link to Professor Katharine Kersey's Guide to 101 principles of positive discipline which provides more information of positive discipline and ways to implement it!

Q: What is negative discipline and what are some practices used in the classroom to implement it?

A: "Negative discipline can be described as punishment that denounces a child's behavior"("Negative Discipline and APA", 2009). The use of negative discipline often involves consequences given for bad behaviors, and sometimes involves withholding rewards as well. There are many ways in which negative discipline is implemented in the classroom however the most common ways are demonstrated through the use of time-outs, referrals, suspensions, and even spankings. Withholding rewards is a common form of negative discipline as well. Withholding rewards often gives students the incentive to stop the undesired behaviors they are exhibiting because they seek the item(s)they are being prevented from having. Negative discipline is often seen as a last resort, after all forms of positive discipline and praise have been attempted.

Q: What is intrinsic motivation and what are some examples?

A: Intrinsic motivation can be described as motivation that comes from within the student themselves. Some examples include feelings that drive the student to motivate themselves such as pride, enjoyability, sense of accomplishment and responsibility. Intrinsically motivated students often tend to push themselves harder when it comes to academics, especially on individual assignments. This is mainly because they feel that striving to be your personal best is what counts the most, and feel a great sense of responsibility and pride when they achieve their desired goals.Intrinsic motivation can be seen in other avenues outside the classroom as well such as the workplace, community projects, sports,games, and even in relationships.

Q: What are some arguments for intrinsic motivation?

A: Proponents argue that internally motivating factors that an individual possesses can often be considered an effective tool for learning. Intrinsic motivation can create excitement in students when learning new things, which in turn can cause them to look forward to learning new information in the future. There is also a greater sense of meaning and accomplishment in a student's academic performance and background due to a sense of personal accomplishment and responsibility. Proponents also argue that if a student is intrinsically motivated in the classroom,then they will most likely carry that sense of intrinsic motivation into other aspects of their life and into their future pursuits as well (DeCharms, 1968; Lepper & Greene, 1978).

Q: What are some arguments against intrinsic motivation?

A: Opponents of intrinsic motivation believe that behaviors are instead motivated by extrinsic factors. A psychologist and researcher at Ohio State University, Steven Reiss, believes that there is "no real evidence that intrinsic motivation even exists"(Reiss, 2008). Opponents believe that extrinsic factors are more motivating because often they involve goals to strive for, such as a paycheck or other incentive, that motivates individuals to work harder than would intrinsic motivators. This is mainly due to the American society's importance placed on materialistic things and financial obtainment. Due to these factors, many individuals are motivated by external factors instead, causing them to base their behaviors on the material outcomes available to them.

Q: What is Self Determination Theory and how is it related to intrinsic motivation?

A: Self Determination Theory, (STD), surfaced around thirty years ago and was primarily implemented through the research studies of Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan. The general idea of their theory involves three basic needs that people must have in order to survive. These include: a sense of autonomy, the need for belonging, and also the need for competence (Deci & Ryan, 2001). Self Determination Theory can be related to intrinsic motivation because both theories believe that the individual can motivate themselves into doing whatever task they need to accomplish.

Q: What is extrinsic motivation and what are some examples?

A: "Extrinsically motivated behavior is defined as engaging in an activity to obtain an outcome that is separable from the activity itself" (DeCharms, 1968; Lepper & Greene, 1978). Some examples of extrinsic motivation include: stickers, candy, gifts, money, and other physical materials that could be given as rewards for desirable behaviors. An example of extrinsic motivation can be seen in the picture below, where a teacher has given a female student the opportunity to play with a ball as a reward for her behavior in class.

Intrinsic motivation.jpg

Q: What are some arguments for extrinsic motivation?

A: Proponents of extrinsic motivation believe that it is more effective than intrinsic motivation in situations where tasks are not appealing to students, or if the task itself is too difficult. Extrinsic motivators are also useful when students show little interest in a specific subject. If external motivators and rewards are offered, then the students may try harder resulting in a more positive outcome on the material (Stockdale & Williams, 2004). Proponents also argue that extrinsic motivation will follow students most of their lives, because they will be able to apply extrinsic motivation to their jobs and other aspects of life.

Q: What are some arguments against extrinsic motivation?

A: Opponents of extrinsic motivation believe that once the external reward is no longer present, then the motivation will disappear as well (Vockell, 2008). Some opponents also believe that extrinsic motivators are not actually motivators but instead are bribes given to encourage a desired behavior of the reward giver. Also, opponents warn that in some cases students may become too dependent on extrinsic rewards and therefore may not do well on certain tasks if there is a lack of external motivation. If a student is given a reward for every time he/she does well on an assignment, then that student is not feeling intrinsically motivated to try and do better on the next assignment because the student will only push themselves if they know they are guaranteed a reward at the end.

Q: What is Cooperative Learning and what are some examples?

A: Cooperative Learning involves small groups of students working together. When students engage in cooperative learning, they are resolving differing opinions, sharing equal responsibilities, considering opposing ideas, and working towards common goals (Berk, 2008). Students also demonstrate a willingness to observe and enhance weaknesses seen in their peers, mainly through their individual strengths. Students begin to feel like a part of a team, rather than socially isolated and picked on. Cooperative learning is also an essential skill that most students will need as they pursue their academic and professional careers. Many employers and teachers look for in a student/employee for behaviors that are typical of cooperative learning. This is because many seek students/applicants who are able to work well with others, form independent ideas, and work together to achieve a common goal, such as a work goal for the week or a group assignment in a class.

Q: What is Brain Based Learning and what are some examples of implementation?

A: Brain Based Learning revolves around the idea that learning will be more effective for students if activities are conducted in an atmosphere compatible with the way the brain learns. The main principle states that learning will be more effective if the learner's environment is natural, challenging and non-threatening. Some examples of brain based learning include: lessons that are interactive, students having a personal meaningful challenge, and intensive analysis of different ways to approach a problem (Caine, 1991). Brain Based Learning follows the basic principle that learning must be conducted in an environment in which the student feels comfortable and not anxious so that the brain can be at optimal functioning. When the student is relaxed and not stressed, the student is more open to learning and retains the information better as a result. Therefore, it is often beneficial for students to learn in environments in which they can learn in the best way they individually can.

Want to know more about Brain Based Learning? Visit this website for tons of facts all about it!

Q: What are the key ideas of the Locus of Control praise debate?

A: One argument states that the giving of rewards inhibits the natural desires of the student because of the presence of the reward itself. The belief pertains to the student not wanting to succeed well in school due to a lack of personal responsibility, but instead does well in school because of the external rewards he/she will receive. However, rewards have been considered successful motivators as long as performance quality remains the basis for the rewards (Cameron & Pierce, 1994). In contrast, it has been suggested that intrinsic motivation decreases over time with the use of external rewards, therefore creating a dependency on external motivators. If the student is consistently given external rewards, then when those rewards are taken away the student will experience difficulty in completing assignments.

Multiple Choice Questions:

1) What type of learning is focused on students working in small groups together?

A. Brain Based Learning

B. Cooperative Learning

C. Locus of Control

D. Self Determination Theory

2) What type of discipline is focused on giving praise and reinforcing desirable behaviors?

A. Extrinsic motivation

B. Intrinsic motivation

C. Negative discipline

D. Positive disciplines

3) Susie is given two gold stars for her work on her short story about the seasons in weather. What kind of motivation is Susie receiving?

A. Extrinsic motivation

B. Intrinsic motivation

C. Locus of control

D. Positive discipline

4) Ted is constantly acting up in class. He consistently runs around the room and speaks out of turn in class. His teacher decides to take away recess as a punishment for his behavior. What kind of discipline is Ted's teacher enforcing?

A. Extrinsic motivation

B. Locus of control

C. Negative discipline

D. Positive discipline


Berk, Laura E.. "Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood" Infants, Children, and Adolescents . 6th. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc., 2008.

Caine, R.N. & Caine, G. (1991). Making connections: Teaching and the human brain. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Cameron, J. & Pierce, W. D. (1994). Reinforcement, Reward, and Intrinsic Motivation: A Meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 64(3), 363-423. Retrieved 5 June 2009 from

DeCharms, R. (1968). Personal causation: The internal affective determinants of behavior. New York: Academic.

Deci, E. L., Koestner, R.,& Ryan, R. M. (2001). Extrinsic Rewards and Intrinsic Motivation: Reconsidered Once Again. Review of Education Research, 71(1), 1-27. Retrieved 5 June 2009, from

Doescher and Burt (1995). You, Your Child, and Positive Discipline. Oregon State University Extension Service. Retrieved 5 June 2009, from

Grabmeier, J. (2008). Intrinsic Motivation Doesn't Exist, Researcher Says. Retrieved 5 June 2009 from Ohio State University Research News Website:

Kersey, Katherine C., Ed.D. (1991). The 101s: A Guide to Positive Discipline, Retrieved 5 June 2009, from

Lepper, M. R., & Greene, D. (1978) The hidden costs of reward. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Positive Discipline. Retrieved 5 June 2009 from (

Stockdale, S. L., & Williams, R. L. (2004). Classroom motivation strategies for prospective teachers. The Teacher Educator, 39 (3), 212-30. Retrieved 5 June 2009 from Wilsonweb database

Vockell, E. (2008). Education Psychology: A Practical Approach. Retrieved 5 June 2009 from

Wilson, L. (2007). Overview of brain based education. Retrieved June 12, 2009, from


1) B. Cooperative learning is based on students working in small groups together.

2) D. Positive discipline is focused on giving praise and rewarding students for desirable behaviors.

3) A. Extrinsic motivation involves giving rewards for good or desirable behavior.

4) C. Negative discipline involves taking away rewards, like recess, for undesirable behaviors and as a form of punishment.

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