Thursday, September 6, 2007
POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT MAY BACKFIRE!
This post is in response to an inquiry received from one of the teachers that attended a New Zealand seminar. The question was in relation to a couple of students who would become very silly when they received positive feedback from their teacher. One of the areas that I cover in the seminar is centered on positive feedback for students who may react negatively when a teacher or authority figure tries to give them positive verbal reinforcement. Sometimes children may feel uncomfortable when given positive reinforcement and in turn may resort to exhibiting inappropriate behaviour. Refer back to the notes on positive reinforcement and starting to give feedback using the "third person labelling on the fly" where the teacher labels the behaviour but does not indicate whether it is positive or negative. Once the students are comfortable with this type of feedback move on to stopping at their desk and again using third person labelling. Depending on the age of the students you can also use "praise cards" or "check cards" on their desk to let them know they are doing good work. Not giving it too much attention. Work up to providing second person labelling and then positive reinforcement. Phillip Hall in his book "Educating Oppositional and Defiant Students" can also provide some good information for strategies. If anyone else has ideas, feel free to comment.
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