Rewarded by Punishment: Reflections on the Disuse of Positive Reinforcement in Education
Most approaches for dealing with student disruptions involve the use of various forms of punishment such as removals from the classroom, fines, restitutional activities, inschool and out-of-school suspensions, and expulsions. Although some of these approaches may make schools safer by removing the offending students, they have little effect on encouraging students to perform socially appropriate behaviors. There are many reasons why educators find punishment a more acceptable approach for managing students' challenging behaviors than positive reinforcement. This article delineates these reasons and argues for educators to plan the occurrence of positive reinforcement to increase appropriate behaviors rather than running the risk of it haphazardly promoting inappropriate behaviors.