School & District Management What the Research Says

Praise Seen as Effective Classroom-Management Tool

By Catherine Gewertz — February 11, 2020 1 min read

When teachers use more praise and fewer reprimands in the classroom, it seems to help students stay on-task and behave better, according to a new study.

“The higher the teachers’ [praise to reprimand ratio], the higher the students’ on-task behavior percentage,” Paul Caldarella, a professor of counseling psychology and special education at Brigham Young University, wrote in a report published last week in the journal Educational Psychology.

In a randomized experiment, Caldarella and his team spent three years observing teachers and students in 151 K-6 classrooms in Missouri, Tennessee, and Utah. Half the teachers were asked to do what they normally do; the other half used a classroom management system that reinforces social skills with praise, as their main management tool.

A version of this article appeared in the February 12, 2020 edition of Education Week as Praise Seen as Effective Classroom-Management Tool

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