Thursday, January 28, 2016

Positive reinforcement in the classroom

Teaching is a balance between introducing new concepts and reinforcing the ones that have been introduced. A teacher does not only present a lesson, but also ensures that the lesson is mastered, so that novel ideas can be built upon it.

To this end, educators can choose to utilize either positive or negative reinforcement. Rooted in psychology, the notion of reinforcement has to do with emphasizing either the advantages or disadvantages of a particular behavior. The goal, depending on the case case, is to encourage or discourage the repetition of the behavior in the future. In other words, positive reinforcement increases the likelihood that such behavior is reprised, while negative reinforcement decreases the same likelihood.

In this essay, we shall focus on the effects and merits of positive reinforcement in the classroom.

In the classroom, the use of encouraging words is an example of positive reinforcement. When a teacher tells a student or “Excellent work” after a particularly good job or attempt at the same, the teacher motivates the student to keep doing work of similar impressive quality.

Rewards or incentives may also be given to achieve the same objective. For instance, teachers of younger pupils mark outstanding works with star stickers that indicate the work is of superb quality.

The act of drawing the attention of the class to a particular work can be a reward itself to the pupil who did well. It also inspires other pupils to do better so that they will get the same reward at another time.

Positive reinforcement has numerous advantages in the classroom. It provides a sense of self-worth by alleviating doubts any person may have on his or her job, it improves the pupils’ morale, and encourages good behavior. It is a valuable practice not only for teachers of elementary pupils, but also of students of other levels. It is even helpful for managers of a workplace or leaders of an organization.

Try positive reinforcement today, and you might just be surprised with the benefits it ushers into your group.
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