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Positive Reinforcement in the Classroom

January 16, 2010

It is a widely accepted fact that the behavior of the children is influenced by the environment in which they are brought up. This is true especially in the phase of life when one is a student. Almost all children are known to spend at least six hours in school and so their personality gets shaped as per the lessons learned in the school. We can definitely say that the teachers in schools shoulder a very big responsibility of teaching the children basic values which are as important as the academic lessons. Positive reinforcement for children is a way of motivating them by appreciating their good qualities. Now, let us know how to use positive reinforcement in the classroom and the effectiveness of positive reinforcement in the succeeding paragraphs.Importance of Positive Reinforcement in the Classroom

The main motive behind using positive reinforcement in the classroom is to encourage the students to repeat the acts done by them, which are good and would prove useful for them and also for the class. The students will feel encouraged to repeat their acts only if they receive appreciation for them. However, while appreciating, it is essential that teachers follow certain rules which will result in the advantage of the entire class and not a certain group of students. All students who perform well should be appreciated without any bias. If a particular student answers a question correctly, it would be advisable that you appreciate him individually by taking his name, so that he feels motivated. In the positive reinforcement, the students are made aware of the good or bad consequences of their actions.

By the effective use of positive reinforcement in the classroom, you can make the students aware of their strengths and suggest them ways of using those strengths to the fullest to succeed in the tasks allotted to them. By doing this, the students would be able to eliminate the negative aspects of their personality, step by step.

While using positive reinforcement in the classroom, the teachers should note that the positive reinforcement is given on time. It is very essential to praise the efforts and the hard work of the students immediately after their success. The reason behind this is that the psychological impact of immediate appreciation will be more than delayed appreciation. Positive reinforcement in the classroom in the form of awards and gifts, can at times, be more effective than the oral ways of appreciation. Sometimes material rewards which the students always wished to possess can increase the enthusiasm and energy in them to perform better at every outing. The positive reinforcement in the classroom can help to maintain the discipline and decorum by changing the personality of each and every student.

Positive reinforcement has a clear advantage over punishment in many ways. It has been observed in many cases that though punishment helps to improve the habits and behavior patterns of many children, this is not true in the case of each and every child. Punishment, sometimes can have an opposite effect on the students as they may become rebellious and even more aggressive. Even if punishment succeeds in improving the way of thinking of the students, this change can be temporary and may not last too long. With the help of positive reinforcement, the values which are taught in the classroom will stay with the children throughout their lives.

Thus we conclude that positive reinforcement in the classroom is a must in the modern day education system. By employing these methods, the teachers will be able to make the students, great visionaries when they grow up.

By Omkar Sarpotdar
Published: 12/12/2009