TEACHER’S PRAISE: DOES IT MOTIVATE THE STUDENTS?
- December 12, 2017
- Posted by: polyglot polyglot
- Category: Uncategorized
Everyone values being praised and recognised for their endeavours – it is a huge part of nurturing our self-esteem and confidence. The students need to be in supportive and friendly environments. But the question is how frequently teachers should use praise in their classrooms and how best to do it.
A key part of teaching is providing students with effective praise. When used correctly, praise provides students with positive reinforcement. It motivates them to learn and participate in class. If we want to inspire our students to believe they can achieve more, we cannot afford to praise them cheaply.
There are two types of praising: general and specific.
General praise is directed at either no one in particular or if directed at an individual, it is generic in its use. For example:
- Great job!
- Well done, Tim!
- Good work!
Specific praise is both directed at an individual student and very specific in what is being praised. For example:
- Alex, I can see you’ve been studying the new lexis very well. You answered all the questions correctly.
- Amy, I really like that you were speaking English fluently during the debate.
As you can see, specific praise not only lets the student know that they are correct, but it is also meaningful because it allows them to see exactly what it is you are praising.
An effective praise include the following steps:
1. Make eye contact.
2. Move close to the student if it appears natural.
4. Give specific praise based on the type of result you wish to have:
- For Praise to Reinforce Behavior
Describe the behavior you want to reinforce telling how you feel about it with specific comments like, “Your thoughts were well organized in this essay,” or “I liked your use of transitional phrases.” The younger the student is, the more immediate the praise should be.
- For Praise to Raise Self Esteem
Tie this praise to some admirable personality characteristic. For example, you might say, “That was hard for you, but you kept going. You have great endurance,” or “You are such a considerate person. People are lucky to have you as a friend.”
Thus, teacher’s praise is one tool that can be a powerful motivator for students. Many teachers attempt to use praise as a form of positive reinforcement in order to motivate students to achieve and behave in positive ways. Praise has its place in any lesson, but using it too much or when it’s not deserved can be demotivating. Some researchers have found that praise can actually lessen self-motivation and cause children to become dependent on rewards. Various forms of praise can have different kinds of effects on different kinds of students. Students from different socioeconomic classes, ability levels, and genders may not respond in the same way to praise. The use of praise is further complicated by the fact that it may have differential effects depending on the type of achievement being measured. For example, praise may be useful in motivating students to learn by rote, but it may discourage problem solving.