Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Chapter 11/11.5.2

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Praise Debate By Catherine Byrd

Learning Targets

Students should be able to:

a) Differentiate between intelligence and effort praise and identify which one is more effective in a classroom setting

b) Distinguish how much praise in a classroom is beneficial to a students’ future

c) Give reasons and examples as to why praising a student is important and the emotional positives it has on students

Introduction

Most parents and educators would say that praise is important to a child’s development of self esteem; so one would think that the more praise, the better. Right? Not always. Some educators and psychologists believe that praise is good but if done too often then it loses its effect and molds children that are constantly seeking approval (Delision, 2000).

The question now raised is how much praise is too much and what exactly should be praised?

As humans, we prefer to be praised for our correct efforts than be criticized for what we did wrong. We are a society that thrives on individual recognition. As teachers, we need to criticize and praise our students but need to explore and research how to praise students and determine what is beneficial and what is damaging.

Honest Feedback

“I do not believe you can give anyone self esteem, but you can create an environment where it can grow.” ( J.D. Hawkins, 2000)

Marshall Duke, a clinical psychologist, says that a child’s strengths need to be identified and developed which will lead to more self confidence rather than continuous praise. Feedback to children that is honest is more beneficial than an empty praise. Being honest with children while they are young will help them survive in the real world because if not then they will not know how to deal with adversity as they become adults (Delision, 2000).

Many people believe that praise leads to higher self esteem and that high self esteem results in happier children that perform better in school but there is no research to support that idea. Duke told Education World “Self esteem does not make them happier, achieve more, or become more capable” (Delision, 2000).

Intelligence Praise or Effort Praise

A study was done by Melissa Kamins, Claudia Mueller and Carol Dweck to determine whether intelligence praise or effort praise is more effective on children. Intelligence praise is when a teacher emphasizes to a student that they did well because they are smart and effort praise is when the teacher emphasizes the student’s success because of their hard work. The results of the study showed that students who were praised on their intelligence had a goal to look smart even if it meant sacrificing learning. Students that were praised based on their efforts had a goal to learn new things even if it seems challenging or risky (Aronson, 2002). The results of this study show that not all praise is beneficial to students and that if praise is going to be used by teachers then it should be practiced in a manner that has positive learning outcomes.

Research has found that giving too much praise to students can lessen self-motivation and lead to children becoming dependent on rewards for their work. One study found that when teachers praised preschoolers for doing an activity that they were already excited to do, the children lost some motivation to do the activity. “Children have an intrinsic desire to learn. Ineffective praise can stifle students’ natural curiosity and desire to learn by focusing their attention on extrinsic rewards rather than the intrinsic rewards that come from the task itself” (Hitz, 1989).

To see a video on how children should be praised, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqo4c-FlFGE

Like a Cheerleader

"The praise keeps them going…” (Lori Palmer, 2000)

“Praise is defined as verbal comments indicating approval, commendation or achievement” (Madsen, Becker & Thomas 1968). This is essentially the most important tool a teacher can have. When students are praised constantly, they know they are being praised for trying. Lori Palmer believes that “all children benefit from steady praise” (Delision, 2000). Praise is a type of positive reinforcement and is used to motivate students to behave and achieve positively. Praising also helps teachers manage individuals or groups (Hitz, 1989). Praise is important to a child’s confidence in class and fosters independence in the classroom. Students see praise as a way of teachers expressing their appreciation. Praise should be used on a daily basis and can be an effective tool for change as well (CTER, 2007).

Effective Praise

Praise is very effective in the classroom. Praise gives students information on how valuable their accomplishments are. Students who are praised often, better appreciate their thinking and problem solving skills and know that the teacher expects the same effort in the future. Not only is praise a teacher’s way of expressing appreciation but it encourages students to appreciate their own work giving them a sense of self gratification (Kizlik, 2009).


Conclusion

In my opinion, I believe that praise should be used in the classroom but used in a way that is effective to the student. My research has found that there is no evidence that praise should not be used at all in the classroom. The argument is rather what type of praise is positive and how often praise should be given. I agree that effort praise should be used in the classroom. A good balance of praise and criticism should be given. There are no perfect people in this world and until then everyone including young and old students should be given honest feedback even if it is not what they want to here. Although I believe honest feedback should be given, adults and educators [alike] need to give a solution as to how a student or child can improve.

References

Aronson, Joshua. (2002). Messages that motivate: how praise molds students’ beliefs, motivation, and performance [Electronic version]. Improving Academic Achievement, 37-56.

CTER. (2007). Retrieved February 7, 2009 from the CTER Wiki: http://www.wik.ed.uiuc.edu/index.php/Praise.

Delision, Ellen. (2000). Can adults praise children too much? Retrieved February 7, 2009 from http://www.education-world.com/a_curr302.shtml.

Hitz, R., Driscoll, A. (1989). Praise in the classroom. Retrieved February 7, 2009 from http://ericdigests.org/pre-9213/praise.htm.

Kizlik, Bob. (2009). Education information for new and future teachers. Retrieved February 7, 2009 from http://www.adprima.com/managing.htm.

Madsen, C., Becker W., Thomas D. (1968). Rules, praise, and ignoring: elements of elementary classroom control. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1, 5.

Questions

1. Which is the correct definition for intelligence praise?

a. when a teacher emphasizes to a student that they did well because they are smart

b. when a teacher emphasizes the student’s success because of their hard work

c. when a teacher emphasizes the student’s success because of teamwork

d. when a teacher emphasizes to a student that they did well because they were intelligent enough to ask the teacher for help

2. Which is the correct definition for effort praise?

a. when a teacher emphasizes to a student that they did well because they were intelligent enough to ask the teacher for help

b. when a teacher emphasizes to a student that they did well because they are smart

c. when a teacher emphasizes the student’s success because of teamwork

d. when a teacher emphasizes the student’s success because of their hard work

3. Michelle turns in an assignment and her teacher tells her, “Your research was excellent, Good work.” The following week Michelle works really hard on her next research paper to impress her teacher as she had in the past. What type of praise did Michelle’s teacher give her?

a. effective praise

b. encouragement praise

c. dependence praise

d. motivation praise

4. Alex is in the third grade. Alex turned in his journal entry to his teacher and she gave him a tootsie roll and said, “There were no grammar errors in your journal entry today, you did great!” The next day, Alex rushes to complete his journal entry hoping he earns a piece of candy. Which answer BEST describes the type of behavior Alex is demonstrating?

a. Alex has an intrinsic desire to do his best work

b. Alex has become dependent on a reward for his work

c. Alex has developed a “get it over with” attitude towards his work

d. Alex wants to prove to his teacher how smart he is by finishing his work first.

Answers

1. A when a teacher emphasizes to a student that they did well because they are smart

2. D when a teacher emphasizes the student’s success because of their hard work

3. A effective praise

4. B Alex has become dependent on a reward for his work.