Positive Reinforcement

Every good teacher needs a good behaviour management strategy. Through my study and experiences in the classroom, positive reinforcement is the best strategy. However, it is often neglected.

Positive reinforcement is all about reinforcing good behaviour by praising students when they have displayed the desired behaviour. This is in direct contrast to negative consequences which focuses on the bad behaviour and punishes the student for the undesired behaviour.

Through my observations I have seen two different teachers take these two approaches with the same class of students. One teacher distributed raffle tickets to the students who displayed positive behaviour (raising their hand to answer a question, sit quietly, complete their work to the best of their ability…) while the other teacher asked the student to write their name on the board and place strikes next to their name each time they did something wrong (call out, argue with a student etc).

The students were much better behaved for the teacher who praised the good behaviour and ignored the undesired behaviours.

I strongly believe teachers need to focus on positive reinforcement. This is not to say that there is no place for negative consequences, however I believe they should be used as a last resort and second to positive reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement is used in the hope that over time the reinforcers will be used less as the students become intriniscally motivated.

Implementing Positive Reinforcement

–          Raffle Tickets

  • Draw two raffle tickets at the end of each week out of a shoe box
  • The two students chosen can then choose a small prize from the prize box/choose their reward from the class reward list

–          Merit Awards

  • Merit awards are handed out to students for good behaviour
  • When the students receive 5 merit awards they are able to choose a prize from the prize box/choose their reward from the class reward list

–          Sticker Chart

  • Stickers are handed to the students for good behaviour and they place them on the chart next to their name.
  • When the students receive 5 stickers they are able to choose a prize from the prize box/choose their reward from the class reward list

What do you think about positive reinforcement?

How are you implementing positive reinforcement in your classroom?

Image: Paul Gooddy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Filed under Behaviour Management, Teaching Strategies

2 responses to “Positive Reinforcement

  1. Pingback: Bullying | An Aspiring Primary Teacher

  2. Pingback: Education Support Officers - Cluster 5 Unit 12 – CHCEDS307A Support the development of numeracy skills

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