Title

High School Student Perceptions of Teacher-Delivered Praise in the Classroom

Location

Harborside Center

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

“HEART”: Social climate. This proposal will present data on student perceptions and preferences for the ways teachers provide verbal approval and feedback in the classroom, which can inform teacher practices to improve social climate for students at risk for behavioral and other difficulties.

Brief Program Description

This session presents data on high school student preferences for how classroom teachers provide verbal approval and feedback, which can inform teacher practices to improve social climate for students at risk for behavior difficulties, absenteeism, or dropout. Attendees will discuss how to apply the findings to their own verbal interactions in the classroom, and handouts will be provided.

Summary

Most classroom teachers use predominantly verbal strategies for classroom management (Rosen, O’Leary, Joyce, Conway, & Pfiffner, 1984. Therefore, determining socially acceptable and academically effective ways for teachers to verbally interact with students is important. However, teacher-student relationships that can stem from teachers’ verbal interactions can be an unrewarding experience for some students (Gunter, Denny, Jack Shores, & Nelson, 1993) and may not successfully support student learning or a positive behavior cycle. To support the development of positive teacher-student interactions, this session will present the results of a survey study conducted with high school students about their preferences for teacher praise delivery. Praise has been defined as individualized and enthusiastic statements of approval contingent on behavior, excluding feedback on the accuracy of work (Acker & O’Leary, 1987). The survey includes questions capturing student preferences about praise based on three main elements. The first is preferences for the setting for delivery of teacher praise (private vs. public praise delivery). The second is the goal attribution of the content of the praise (effort-oriented vs. ability-oriented statements) reflected in the content of praise delivery by the teacher. The third preference for how specific the praise statements are (general vs. specific praise). A measure of student achievement goal orientations, based on attribution theory (Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Ames & Ames, 1984) will also be conducted. A person-centered approach to analysis will then be conducted with the purpose of determining the most likely configuration of student preferences across the three targeted areas of setting, content, and specificity, as demonstrated in Good, Willoughby, and Busseri (2011). Descriptive statistics and analysis of sex differences will also be conducted. During the session, the results of the study will be presented and attendees will engage in discussion, activities, and practice for how to apply the results to planned verbal interactions in their classrooms. Handouts will be provided.

Evidence

Studies suggest that the development of an interpersonal teacher-student relationship may play a reciprocal role in teacher-student interactions. Positive interpersonal relationship development promotes student success as well teacher values such as concern for the welfare of the student (Ames, 1975; Ross, Bierbrauer, & Polly, 1974). Feedback and praise that center on ability or a students’ product do not have the same positive impact as feedback and praise that center on effort. Results in a study comparing preschoolers’ reactions to setbacks following praise of successes in terms of the whole person (e.g. “You are a good drawer”) versus the specific event (e.g. “You did a good job drawing”) (Cimpian, Arce, Markman, & Dweck, 2007) suggest that the message about ability, production, and effort contained in praise is significant to children’s perception of intelligence and future responses to challenge and failure starting at a very young age. However, it is unclear about similar effects in adolescents, so the current survey should contribute to this knowledge. Additionally, evidence indicates that young children are responsive to and influenced by teacher and adult stated preferences and perceptions about classmates (White, Jones, & Sherman, 1998), but it is unclear how adolescents are influenced by teacher public statements about other students. Therefore, the current study results should inform high school teachers’ understanding of socially acceptable ways of enhancing classroom climate and teacher-student verbal interactions.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Adrienne Stuckey is an assistant professor of special education at Western Carolina University. Prior to completing her Ph.D. at Georgia State University, she taught high school special education for 12 years in the Atlanta area. Her research and practice focus on teacher behaviors that support positive reciprocal interactions in the classroom for students with behavior and learning difficulties.

Keyword Descriptors

specific praise, attribution theory, adolescents, behavior and learning difficulties

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-8-2016 4:00 PM

End Date

3-8-2016 5:30 PM

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Mar 8th, 4:00 PM Mar 8th, 5:30 PM

High School Student Perceptions of Teacher-Delivered Praise in the Classroom

Harborside Center

This session presents data on high school student preferences for how classroom teachers provide verbal approval and feedback, which can inform teacher practices to improve social climate for students at risk for behavior difficulties, absenteeism, or dropout. Attendees will discuss how to apply the findings to their own verbal interactions in the classroom, and handouts will be provided.