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how NOT to praise 
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:57 pm
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Post how NOT to praise
We all know that praise is a good way to motivate students but here is a very eye-opening article that suggests praise given poorly can have the opposite effect.

http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/


Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:46 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Location: Nagano, Japan
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Excellent article! Thanks for posting that.

A great excerpt from the article is:

“The key is intermittent reinforcement,” says Cloninger. The brain has to learn that frustrating spells can be worked through. “A person who grows up getting too frequent rewards will not have persistence, because they’ll quit when the rewards disappear.”

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Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:01 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:20 pm
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Location: chiba
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Yes, excellent article.

It has helped to explain the behaviour of quite a few kids i teach.....and me! Hmmm I think its time to change some things around here.....

thanks for posting it!


Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:45 pm
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:36 pm
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Location: Tohoku Japan
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hhhmmm?

very interesting article

yes there must be a balance in all things, giving praise is no exception?


Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:58 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:54 pm
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Location: Kanagawa, Japan
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i believe that praise is overated. in that article, it said that kids want to do things, because they want to be praised. in my experience, kids also refuse to do things, because they dont want to be praised.

one of my 10 year old girl students is quite smart and always wanted to attempt any english question......not because she wanted to be praised, but because she enjoyed the challenge. she had a stong intrinsic motivation. of course, i wanted to let her know how well she was doing, so i would praise her with simple comments, but this got the less motivated kids to start making fun of her...the old "she's the the teacher pet" syndrome.

she has since changed class and i no longer persistantly praise her. she no longer has the teacher pet tag and she wants to answer questions knowing that she wont be praised....like the article says, there needs to be a balance. is less praise better than more praise? will kids still do things if they are not praised?

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Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:15 pm
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:38 am
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I think they key is try and always praise something of everybody. It's normal that if you are praised many times and you are the only one, then someone tells you that you are the teacher's pet.
If everybody is praised for their effort, for little things, comments, reflections, homework well done, etc. then there's no point in saying "you are the teacher's pet" because everybody is.
I think that we just tend to praise when someone says the right answer, but when someone tries hard they should also be praised, or for helping you or another pupils, picking up something from the floor, behaving well... As teachers we have to try and find something to praise with to all the children in the classroom. Because that child that says "you are the teacher's pet" would love that the teacher praised him, but as he does not get many praised he makes fun of others.

I spent one month teaching in a School in Birmingham and the teacher did something really interesting. When someone was missbehaving, instead of telling them off, she used to praise the ones that were behaving well. And that worked because then I could see everybody behaving well because they also wanted a praise from the teacher. The thing is that the children that was missbehaving knew that he was not going to get the teacher's attention, and the only way to get it was behaving well. Then, the teacher paid a lot of attention to what that boy was doing, and when he did something good/positive she praised him, so the message he got was: if I missbehave she ignores me, if I behave I have her attention.

And, maybe at the beginning is hard, but it does work! what they all want is to catch our attention, and if we show them the right way to do it then it's excellent.

(Watching Supernnay chapters (Jo Frost) helped me a lot, too)


Sat May 12, 2007 12:18 am
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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:38 pm
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Location: Ukraine
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As far as I ahve understood we should praise both smart and not enough children for efforts not for nature intelligence . I agree with this I am teaching a boy 13 years old I know his family quite well He is kind of a god for parents He has lived with a strong belief that he is amart from early childhood To tell the truth it's kind of an illness and very often when the task needs efforts this boy is behind other less intelligent but persistant students


Mon May 14, 2007 3:48 am
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 1:22 pm
Posts: 17
Location: TURKEY
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It is a great article.In one of my class there are a lot of smart children and they have been praised they realize that they are smart and they think that they can be successful in english lesson without writing the exercises or doing homework. It is very hard to make them write something because they claim that there is no need to write. when I feel their expressions, I become demotivated... I think children should be praised but not so much...


Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:12 am
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