An Analysis of Teachers' Use of Praise and Reprimands in Relation to Student Behavior
Moore Partin, Tara C.
The author presented an examination of teachers’ use of praise and reprimands in relation to student behaviors for students identified as exhibiting problem behaviors. Data were examined from student-centered observations of student and teacher behaviors occurring during instructional interactions for elementary-age students across two educational settings (i.e., general education classrooms or self-contained special education classrooms for students with problem behaviors). Results indicated higher mean rates of teacher praise than mean rates of teacher reprimands across both settings, with evidence of high variability in rates of praise and reprimands received by students in the sample. Results also indicated that variability in rates of praise and reprimands was associated with variability in students’ appropriate engagement in classroom activities, with a positive association between overall rates of praise and student engagement (significant correlation for students in special education classrooms only) and a negative association between overall rates of reprimands and student engagement (with evidence of a curvilinear relation for students in special education classrooms). The author discussed the importance of considering the effectiveness of teacher praise and reprimands to reduce inappropriate student behaviors and to increase appropriate behaviors. The importance of considering factors that influence variability in the relations between teacher praise and reprimands and student engagement is also discussed. Limitations are discussed and implications for research and practice are presented.