Positive reinforcement within the classroom
Positive reinforcement within the classroom

Positive reinforcement within the classroom

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  • Pages: 6 (2850 words)
  • Published: October 16, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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Positive support within the schoolroom.

Classroom direction and subject is the most ambitious facet of instruction ( Yost & A ; Mosa, 2002 ) . Aksoy ( 2003 ) describes schoolroom environment as ; multifaceted, coincident, fast occurring, and unpredictable. This environment means that at any clip, instructors have to go to to a huge scope of student demands reasonably and systematically. ( Edwards 2003 ) . It is hence of import instructors implement and refine schemes concentrating on cut downing behavioral issues in order to maximize possible for larning and guarantee smooth schoolroom practise.

Due to the increased diverseness of students in schools instructors now encounter a much wider scope of behavioral troubles in an mean category, this is partially as a consequence of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ( Quinn et al. , 2001 ) . Interestingly the most common petition for aid from instructors relates to behaviour and classroom direction ( Rose & A ; Gallup 2005 ) . Breaks in category take up student’s valuable learning clip and decreases possible larning chances of the category. ( Witzel & A ; Mercer & A ; Miller 2003, Cains & A ; Brown, 1996 )

Teachers who regularly encounter debatable behaviors frequently report increased sums of emphasis and defeat ( Browers & A ; Tomic, 2000 ) . This in some fortunes can do instructors question their capableness for their function ( witzel, Miller and Mercer 2003 ) . The importance of schoolroom direction in reinforced by Shinn, Ramsey, Walker, Stieber, & A ; OaˆYNeill ( 1987 ) who found schoolrooms often sing behavioral breaks had less clip prosecuting in acquisition, and students tended to go forth


school with lower classs compared to equals.

Within the literature it is clear that there is a broad spectrum of schemes implemented by instructors to increase effectivity of behaviour direction schemes. Some pedagogues argue strong subject and puting bounds are most effectual, others assume making an exciting course of study works best. All schemes highlight the importance on how to act, pupil duties and adhering to category and societal norms. It is besides clear that many of the schemes identified have a footing embedded in psychological rule. These include behavioral, psychodynamic, biological and developmental attacks. It has frequently been disputed how best to use psychological theory to classroom pattern. This reappraisal will concentrate on the usage of positive support in schoolroom direction. Theories will be discussed, evaluated and related to classroom pattern.

What defines Positive support?

Positive support refers to the execution of positive stimulations to desirable behavior. Described by Skinner ( 1938 ) as operant conditioning, it is used to increase the chance of coveted behavior happening once more ( Fontana 1994 ) . It is most effectual if implemented instantly after desired behavior occurs and frequently used as a behaviour direction scheme. It can be applied through societal cues ( a simple smiling ) , positive feedback and reward/sanction systems and best used alongside a schoolroom context ( regulations and modus operandis ) .

Theoretical footing of positive support

Behavioral theories have been extremely influential to positive support in the schoolroom, although the

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have non ever been extremely regarded by the educational community ( Axelrod 1997 ) . Nevertheless the usage of positive support appears often within literature sing behaviour direction. It is of import to place rules underlying positive support and the unfavorable judgments to these theories. Besides how these core behavioral rules can be converted to classroom practise and the issues environing implementing techniques.

The first major part to positive support was Edward Thorndike’s “Law effect” ( 1911 ) which implies behaviour that generates positive effects on the environment are more likely to be continued ( Miltenburger, 2008 ) . This implied support and congratulations drama cardinal function in determining behavior. Shortly after this Watson ( 1913 ) describes “Behaviourism” . He bases his theory on the apprehension that behavior is learned and hence can be unlearned. Behavioral alterations are hence due to environmental fortunes ( Miltenberger 2008 ) .

Ivan Pavlov ( 1927 ) describes “Classical conditioning” , in which a stimulation is linked to a of course happening response that occurs with a different stimulation to arouse an unnatural response. This manifests in a schoolroom scenario such as utilizing a “finger click” to pull attending. It is a scheme used to systematically suggest pupils to halt working. This illustration explains a “conditioned” behavior in which students have been taught to act in a specific manor to an unrelated cue. Much of his work at the clip was conducted on animate beings within Labs.

B.F. Skinner’s research has been important in the development of positive support ( Labrador 2004 ) . He argued that positive support was more effectual than penalty when seeking to modify behavior. Through his survey he identifies “operant conditioning” which explains how reinforcement and punishment drama a cardinal function in the return of behavior. He explains how behaviour that is systematically reinforced with praise/ wagess will happen more frequently. He identifies five obstructions that inhibit children’s ability to larn. These included fright of failure, complication of undertaking, lucidity, way and deficiency of support ( Frisoli 2008 ) . Additionally he recognises techniques such as interrupting undertakings down, reiterating waies and giving positive support ( Frisoli 2008 ) .

Classroom research that followed was based on his findings. Surveies focused on adult’s childrearing ( Baumrind, 1971 ) and kids in a Laboratory scene ( Kenney & A ; Willicut, 1964 ; Soloman, 1964 ) . Most surveies found reward to be more effectual at pull offing and act uponing behavior. Bandura ( 1965 ) explains these findings as a merchandise of children’s old conditioned responses to honor and penalty, act uponing its success in category.

The Importance of Positive support

Positive support refers to any event that follows a behavior used to increase the opportunities of the behavior reoccurring. It can besides be used to actuate pupils. ( Domjam 2003 ) . Bracey ( 1994 ) states ; `` 15 old ages of research have confirmed that reenforcing behavior can increase the likeliness that the behavior will be performed under subsequent non-rewarded conditions '' . Similarly Miltenberger ( 2008 ) provinces “disruptive behaviors can be controlled or eliminated with behavioral intervention” (

p11 ) . Due to this considerable research has been conducted into the application of positive support in schools. It is used to further learning methods, control inappropriate behaviors and better societal and functional accomplishments ( Miltenberger, 2008 ) .

Positive support techniques have nevertheless been perceived to endanger individual’s freedoms ( maag 2001 ) . Society perceives support as externally applied to an person with the purpose of haling behavior and taking them to go reliable on extrinsic support ( maag 2001 ) . Although an apprehensible concern, Akin-Little, Eckert, & A ; Lovett ( 2004 ) depict these concerns as indefensible. Surveies have found positive support to increase intrinsic motive ( Cameron, Banko, & A ; Pierce, 2001 ) , particularly wagess based on run intoing a public presentation aim ( Eisenberger, Pierce, & A ; Cameron 1999 ) .

Conroy et Al ( 2009 ) describes how ‘teacher reactions’ play a important function in act uponing pupils behaviour, students will seek to derive attending through predictable behavior linked to common instructor reactions. For illustration, a instructor who focuses attending entirely on riotous behavior will do kids to act in a riotous manor in order to derive the instructors attending. Teachers should utilize positive attending within feedback to act upon desired behavior ( Conroy et al 2009 ) . Chityo & A ; Wheeler ( 2009 ) highlight the importance of utilizing positive support with students that show marks of behavioral troubles. Due to the nature of their troubles and the riotous consequence on the category it is imperative to positively reenforce desired behavior for these pupils ( Chityo & A ; Wheeler 2009 ) .

Positive support in the schoolroom.


Positive support influences desired behavior, disregarding unsought behavior decreases the opportunity of it reoccurring ( Conroy et al, 2009 ) . Rules and modus operandis are used to forestall unsuitable behavior. They set up behavioral context for the schoolroom and instruct students on expected behavior and the effects if inappropriate behavior continues ( Colvin et al. , 1993 ) . This method of teaching behavioral outlooks is used in about every school and critical to making a productive acquisition environment. Chitiyo & A ; Wheeler ( 2009 ) expand on this by explicating how appropriate behavior can be established through modeling desired behaviors and by constructing of course happening support within the schoolroom environment. This involves pull offing inappropriate behaviors through effects ( Mather & A ; Goldstien, 2001 ) . Rules and modus operandis play a important function in finding a context for effects to be applied throughout the schoolroom. Consequences play a cardinal function in pull offing schoolroom behavior and creative a positive acquisition environment. These are extremely valuable tools used to promote acquisition and prevent job behavior ( Conroy, Sutherland, snyder, al- Hendawai and Vo 2009 ) .

Consequences should be used to further acquisition and halt riotous behavior happening ( mather & A ; Goldstien 2001 ) . Mather and Goldstien ( 2001 ) depict a effect attack to pull offing behavior. This involves specifying the job, developing a behavior program, placing an effectual support and

invariably reenforcing desired behavior. Reinforcement should happen shortly after the coveted behavior occurs and used to learn appropriate behaviors, societal and communicating accomplishments ( Mather & A ; Goldstien 2001 ) . Teachers must choose effects that are relevant and strengthen behavior. Bushell ( 1973 ) refers to irrelevant effects as impersonal effects that do non impact behavior. It is of import for instructors to measure usage of supports to do certain effects are positively reenforcing behavior of all persons ( Bushell 1973 ) .

Positive feedback

Social support is important to all children’s development and really common within the schoolroom. Social cues including walking around the category, smiling, congratulating or noticing are critical in increasing and keeping positive behaviors. These can be implemented verbally ; “I like the manner your group is working! ” , Written ; “Great! ” or through looks such as clapping or nodding. Skinner ( 1953 ) suggests that students need important sums of societal support and positive attending in the first few old ages of school. He argues it establishes several generalised societal hatchet mans including ; attending, blessing, fondness and submissiveness. It besides promotes assurance and duty within kids.

Convoy ( 2009 ) found congratulations can better the whole category environment. Effective congratulations additions positive behaviors and interactions with students and instructors. ( Convoy et al 2009 ) Infantino & A ; Little ( 2005 ) depict a scope of of import rules regulating congratulations ; Praise should be initiated by the instructor, dependent upon coveted behavior, concentrating on betterment, age appropriate and structured around single demands. These different rules describe a broad scope of factors that together find the effectivity of congratulations. Despite this immense scope of important factors Smith & A ; Rivera ( 1993 ) demo how congratulations is most effectual overall, applied to specific behavior. In the literature behavior specific congratulations has been linked to positive results for pupils and a lessening in negative behavior. ( Thomas, Becker Madsen 1968, Ramsey, Walker & A ; Gresham 2004 ) Most significantly congratulations has been shown to increase pupil motive ( O’Leary & A ; Becker 1969 ) and have positive effects on learning reading and math’s ( Gable & A ; Shores 1980 ) .

Morrison and Jones ( 2007 ) addressed the subject of Positive Peer Reporting. This positive action of stating positive things about students equals reduced tenseness, negative feelings and encouraged positiveness throughout the category. An illustration of this in category is ‘star of the week’ or ‘show and state time’ . This shows how congratulations is non merely teacher orientated, but in fact can be applied throughout the category in a assortment of different ways. This can assist advance more acquisition within the category, specifically countries of development etc societal skills/ personality. Despite this the effectivity of congratulations in diverse schoolrooms is questionable due to single differences and anterior experiences of congratulations ( Lam, Yim and Ng 2008 ) .

Infantino & A ; Little ( 2005 ) noted student’s preferred to have congratulations for good work in private, as they prefer non to be singled out. This may deduce

that in school there are underlying cultural perceptual experiences within kids that executing good is a bad thing or something to be ashamed of. Teachers can battle this by utilizing group praise/rewards or by offering a scope of wagess to individualise wagess and increase motive. Praise is a good illustration of a commonly used environmental event used to reenforce student’s behaviour ( Brophy, 1981 ) . Important surveies suggest instructors do non praise good behaviour every bit much as they could ( Wehby, Symons, canale & A ; travel 1998 ) .

Wagess systems

Schools have used external wagess to pull off behaviour for many decennaries. The usage of wagess for good behaviour is straight related to academic and societal success ( Slavin 1997 ) . On the contrary some grounds suggests that outlooks of wagess can sabotage intrinsic motive ( Holt 1983, Deci, Koestner, Ryan 1999 ) . A wages is defined as ; the offering of an environmental event in exchange for engagement or accomplishment ( Craighead, Kazdin & A ; Mahoney, 1981 ) . To successfully determine debatable behaviour pupils must grok and accept wagess used to reenforce behaviour. Pupil’s perceptual experience of a ‘good’ wages has been shown to alter with age ( Shreeve, Boddington, Bernard, Brown, Clarke Dean, Elkins, Kemp, Lees, Miller, Oakley, Shiret 2000 ) . This can hold a major impact on the effectivity of utilizing reward systems. To battle this issue, Infantino & A ; Little ( 2005 ) province wagess should be “mutually agreed by pupils and instructors, realistic and deliverable” .

Wagess can assist specify behavioural outlooks, recognize positive behaviour and supply a safe, consistent school environment ( Shreeve et al 2002 ) . This provides pupils with a sense of community and ego belonging which increases chances for larning ( Zimmerman 1989 ) . Wagess are important in assisting motivate kids with reading, Math’s and societal accomplishments ( Reiss, 2005 ) . Research suggests reward systems are effectual at bettering behaviour ( Clifton & A ; Cook, 2012 ) . A broad scope of factors contribute to the overall effectivity of utilizing schoolroom wagess. These include ; sensed equity, supplying picks of wages, set uping a sense of community and individualising reward systems. It is of import that instructors evaluate their scheme to do certain these factors influence how wages schemes are implemented through school.

Barriers to application of positive support.

While implementing positive support within the schoolroom instructors face several barriers. Briesch and Chafouleas ( 2009 ) identifies that a deficiency of clip and resources means instructors are unable to reenforce all desired behavior within the category. Besides there is a danger that the instructor becomes an innate stimulation ensuing in kids merely moving in specific ways in instructor presence ( Briesch and Chafouleas 2009 ) . Reinke, Lewis-Palmer & A ; Merrell ( 2008 ) describe ‘Locus of control’ being taken off from kids when utilizing inordinate positive support, this ensuing in a loss of intrinsic motive. It is hence important that instructors evaluate how productive their schemes are in their specific category.

Another major issue within the literature is that when

a kid is rewarded for completion of a undertaking many times, they tend to lose involvement in the existent undertaking and concentrate more on deriving the wages at the terminal. ( Kohn 1993 ) this can earnestly impact the acquisition environment and have adverse individualized effects on their attending treating systems ( Hidi 1990 ) . Besides noted within literature is that instructors can easy do bad usage of support and as a effect, accidentally reinforce negative behavior. For illustration ; directing a pupil outside for bad behavior removes the kid from the unwanted stimulation ( work ) and reinforces their behavior because they have achieved their end ( non holding to work ) . This means the underlying behavior will most probably be repeated ( Maag 2001 ) .

Another of import fact to see is that due to the civilization of schools, and behavior deemed appropriate, hence reinforced, all kids are being taught ( reinforced ) the same information decided by the little group of persons who write the national course of study. This does non advance single acquisition and must certainly hold damaging effects on the diverseness and individualization amongst the general population.


The usage of positive support is based on a strong sum of literature that suggests behavior is reinforced by contingent wagess. Most noticeable within research lab experiments based on animate beings and nutrient, positive support has become widely accepted as a behavioral alteration strategy/tool. Due to the increasing scope of pupil’s abilities in the mean schoolroom instructors have to integrate and construct upon schemes that successfully promote patterned advance with the huge bulk of abilities encountered. In a category scene, strong regulations and modus operandis provide instructions to pupils that are used to direct behavior. Verbal suggestion of these regulations can drastically increase the effectivity of support.

Consequences, wagess and positive feedback are used as an effectual motive tool and can provide inducements for acting in specific ways, efficaciously act uponing a broad scope of determinations in the schoolroom. Praise is extremely regarded by persons and of import to development of the ego and societal consciousness. It has the ability to actuate pupils and construct self assurance. To utilize support efficaciously through wagess, students must non go motivated entirely by the wages, losing their intrinsic motive can hold inauspicious effects on single motive. To battle this support must be individualised for each kid and instructors should integrate a broad assortment of support schemes into their schoolroom direction scheme. It is of import to observe that how instructors apply positive can finally make up one's mind its effectivity within the category. Schemes should be refined and built upon as kids within the category develop or the instructor is at hazard of cut downing the effectivity of support and sometimes impacting negatively of their instruction.

Positive support plays a cardinal function in making a positive acquisition environment for all students. It is of import it is used right and this involves reenforcing desired behaviors, non riotous behavior. Therefore it is of import I use positive support in my ain instruction by using wagess, congratulations and countenances to construct a

safe environment centred to larning. I will integrate different support schemes into my instruction. The usage of equal group feedback and congratulations is easy applied to pupil’s self appraisal of the lesson and can assist construct societal dealingss within the category environment to further acquisition.

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