ArticlePDF Available

Rewarded by Punishment: Reflections on the Disuse of Positive Reinforcement in Education

Authors:

Abstract

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.
... Further influence in the widespread use of punishment around the world, originates from the Machiavelli philosophy, which took root several decades ago. Maag (2001) cites Machiavelli's reverence for punishment in the following statement, "it is much safer to be feared than loved ... for they are entirely yours; they offer you their blood, their goods, their life, and their children" (p. 176). ...
... Research has also given another reason why punishment is so widely used, namely that it usually makes teachers feel reinforced. They feel good about emerging victorious over the learner (Maag, 2001). In an earlier study, Maag (1999), argues that punishment is frequently used by teachers because it usually instantly produces desirable results and can be administered without much difficulty. ...
... It is simple. A child who never gets noticed for good behaviour may in the end resort to misbehaving so that he or she can stand out and capture the attention of the teacher or parent (Maag, 1999(Maag, , 2001. To prevent this from occurring, it is important that teachers and parents develop interest not just in the misbehaviour of children but in the good behaviour as well. ...
Book
Full-text available
The book covers topics on early childhood development. It also covers topics on how best to raise children and how to ensure that early childhood education yields optimal outcomes.
... In timeout procedures, commission errors would occur if teachers implemented timeout following student responses other than those specified by the behavior plan. Such overuse of punishment procedures by educators has been speculated (e.g., Maag, 2001), but has not been demonstrated regarding teachers' implementation of timeout. ...
... The reason for this paucity of research is unclear, but may be because commission errors infrequently occur during naturalistic implementation. That is, although conceptual papers warn about the overuse of timeout procedures (e.g., Maag, 2001), it may be the case that such commission errors rarely occur in actual practice. Although Taylor and Miller (1997) mention commission errors in their narrative descriptions of integrity failures (e.g., ". . ...
Article
Timeout is an effective behavior-reduction strategy with considerable generality. However, little is known about how timeout is implemented under natural conditions, or how errors in implementation impact effectiveness. During Experiment 1, we observed teachers implementing timeout during play to evaluate how frequently the teachers implemented timeout following target behavior (omission errors) and other behaviors (commission errors) for four children. Teachers rarely implemented timeout; thus, omission errors were frequent, but commission errors rarely occurred. During Experiment 2, we used a reversal design to compare timeout implemented with 0% omission integrity, 100% integrity, and the level of omission integrity observed to occur during Experiment 1 for two of the participants. Timeout implemented with reduced-integrity decreased problem behavior relative to baseline, suggesting that infrequent teacher implementation of timeout may have been sufficient to reduce problem behavior.
... So it is important to define what we mean by "punishment." In psychology, punishment is not a tool or technique but an effect-specifically, a reduction in a given behavior (Maag, 2001). So, the same behavioral management technique (e.g., application of an aversive stimulus) could serve as punishment (if it decreases a behavior) or as a reinforcer (if it increases a behavior). ...
... Techniques to deliver punishment likely also remain popular because they are easy to apply and enforce, and those techniques can work to control undesirable behaviors (Maag, 2001). In fact, some have argued that the grading system and the original honor code were both created, in part, to control unruly students (Bertram Gallant, 2008). ...
Article
In this article, the authors argue that colleges and universities have an ethical obligation to respond to the problem of cheating in a way that honors higher education’s duty to facilitate students’ moral and civic development. After the authors compare and contrast the punitive versus developmental approach to cheating, they explore the promise and limits of punishment as well as the promise and limits of education. The article ends with a call-to-action for all colleges and universities to make the commitment to move away from the punitive and toward the developmental approach when responding to cheating.
... Praise has been studied extensively in education and psychology (e.g., Bear, 2013;Coffee & Kratochwill, 2013;Floress et al., 2017;Heller & White, 1975;Maag, 2001). Although student praise is considered an influential predictor of behavior, engagement, and achievement (Chalk & Bizo, 2004;Simonsen, Fairbanks, Briesch, Myer & Sugai, 2008), early studies of praise suggest low rates of praise delivered by teachers. ...
Article
Using a convergent parallel mixed-method design, we examined changes in teachers’ use of praise during instruction (verbal or nonverbal statements or gestures to provide feedback for appropriate behavior) and explored teachers’ perceptions regarding barriers and facilitators to using praise during coaching. Forty-eight teachers who identified praise as a professional development goal participated in the quantitative strand and 11 of the 48 teachers participated in the qualitative strand. Mixed-effects zero-inflated negative binomial models revealed teachers used 4.03 praise statements per 30-minute observation at baseline which increased by a factor of 1.05 between coaching sessions. Praise discrepancy scores at baseline were estimated at 7.48 with an average decrease (reflecting reduced need for change) of -.25 over time. Thematic analyses of coaching sessions highlighted facilitators (e.g., feedback without having to criticize) and barriers (e.g., interferes with instruction) to using praise while the integration of quantitative and qualitative findings did not yield consistent patterns between the number of facilitators or barriers coded and specific teacher outcomes. Implications for the practice of school psychologists in their work with teachers along with future directions for research are discussed.
... Despite this, the preponderance of school policies on discipline are actually punishment policies (Lewis 1997). Their relative neglect of preventive measures will inevitably lead to failure and frustration as it is always more effective to prevent difficulties than to correct them once they have arisen (Maag 2001). Thus, as depicted in Figure I.1, school-based disciplinary measures must encompass three layers of practice, with those at the lower levels predominating. ...
... Esto implica que el profesor establezca consecuencias claras y proporcionales a la falta y que las aplique de manera inmediata y consistente. Diversos autores (Blandón, Patiño y Yusti, 1989;Curwin y Mendler, 1983;Kern, 2001;Maag, 2001;Mora, 2003;Reynolds, 1977) sugieren que si las consecuencias no son proporcionales a la violación de la norma en el salón de clases ni tampoco consistentes, su efectividad decrecerá. En el mismo sentido, afirman que las consecuencias positivas son más efectivas para la adquisición y mantenimiento del comportamiento adecuado. ...
Article
Full-text available
Precisión instruccional y disciplina en el aula en estudiantes de secundaria Instructional precision and classroom discipline in high school students Artículo recibido el 4 de octubre y aceptado el 11 de diciembre de 2018. Resumen. Diversos estudios sugieren que la disciplina en el aula es uno de los factores relevantes para que se propicie de manera efectiva el proceso de enseñanza-aprendizaje, donde la precisión de las instrucciones dadas por el profesor antes de realizar diversas actividades parece adquirir un pa-pel importante. Con el fin de estudiar si la precisión de las instrucciones del profesor se relaciona con el comportamiento disciplinado de los alumnos en clase, en el presente estudio se analizó la interacción que dos profesores (disciplinario y no disciplinario) tienen con dos grupos de alumnos de nivel medio (disciplinado y no disciplinado). Los resultados muestran que entre mayor es la pre-cisión instruccional, mayor es la correspondencia que hay entre el comportamiento y la indicación, así como la importancia de proporcionar consecuencias. Indicadores. Disciplina; Precisión instruccional; Alumnos de secundaria. Abstract. Several studies suggest that discipline in the classroom is one of the most significant factors for the effectiveness of the teaching-learning process. For this reason, the precision of the instructions given by the teacher in order to carry on the scholar activities plays an important role. In order to analyze if the precision of instructions is related with the disciplined behavior showed in class by high school students, this study analyzed the interaction that two professors (a disciplinary and a non disciplinary one) had with two groups of students (a disciplined and a undisciplined one). Results show that a better instructional precision is related with a best correspondence between behavior and instructions, as well as the importance of the behavior consequences.
... We found that teacher emotional exhaustion was associated with increased odds of students receiving an ODR and an ISS consistent with the hypothesis that a teacher who is emotionally exhausted may have a lower threshold for problem behaviors (Kokkonis, Panayiotou, & Davazoglou, 2005). Teachers may also find that removing disruptive students from the classroom environment is the most reinforcing solution because it provides immediate, albeit temporary, relief of problem behaviors (Maag, 2001); however, we did not find an association between teacher emotional exhaustion and OSS. The difference in findings in the relations of ODR and ISS in comparison to OSS could be related to the severity of these forms of discipline, with OSS being the most exclusionary. ...
Article
Full-text available
Teachers around the globe are stressed among selecting appropriate coaching approaches to use in their classrooms and they are feeling misfortune when smearing existing teaching methods such as constructive strengthening. Teachers essential to be effectually skilled to communicate with these policies and their secondary staff requirements to be able to speech their anxieties as well. Though it takes period to developed flowing in any instruction policy it is vital that instructors twitch with construction a positive connection amongst their scholars, and their instruction aristocrats. It is individual when a scholar belief their confident role typical that they are clever to assistance from encouraging strengthening in their seminar room. The main aim of the recent study is to observe the impact of optimistic strengthening on learners' achievement in English as second language at elementary level. The technique used in the study is quantitative method and experimental in nature. A general section of 60 students of grade 6 th was arbitrarily taken from Islamabad Model School for Girls. These 60 scholars were separated similarly into investigational and switch collections. A pre-test and post-test were formed. The pre-test and the post-test consisted of different items from the text book on the sub level of Buds Classification i.e information, understanding, request and examination. The mean change amongst pre-test and post-test scores was taken. The composed data was examined through applying SPSS. The consequences of the study proved that all the students in the investigational group taught through the use of positive reinforcement achieved improved than the controller group who were trained through conventional technique. In present situation of Pakistan, English is being learnt and taught as an additional compulsory language. Learning a second language or foreign language differs from learning one's mother-tongue in many ways. A second language is often learned in an environment in which it is not heard outside the class room. So while learning a language a learner needs some positive behavior from teacher and Positive reinforcement is a technique which a teacher uses in teaching learning process. English language is learnt as a major second language is Pakistani schools and colleges, as well as in the world especially in the educational institutes but there is still need of motivation for students to learn English language. For this purpose, there is a need for implementation of psychological methods and techniques because the result of English language is not satisfactory. The motives that increase the courage and ability of a person to achieve or do something has been termed as "Positive Reinforcement". There is least use of positive reinforcement by our elementary level teachers. This is due to absence of information about psychological teaching practices and methods. Importance of social media cannot be ignored in promoting language (Bhatti, Rehman, Akram, & Shaheen, 2020). So, undoubtedly, in this era, English is a global language (Akhter,2020). 1.1 Statement of the Problem In Pakistan teaching of English remains painstaking due to presence of many mother tongues, psychology of learners, examination system, focused teaching and lack of motivation by the instructors and scholars. This results in poor presentation of the apprentices as they hesitate to communicate and learn English effectively.
Article
The prescriptive outline that guides teachers on the use of Behaviour Policies (BP) omits to suggest whether BPs in Primary schools can be contextualised. This study explores to what extent Behaviour Classification Tables (BCTs) help staff choose strategies to improve behaviour. Using Context-Mechanism-outcome configuration (CMO) as the main structure for a realist analysis, this evaluation examines how the flexibility to interpret BCTs enables staff to support children throughout the school. Whilst the positive impact of adapting BCTs is recognised, it is also highlighted that a strict interpretation of behavioural expectations can hinder the improvement of behaviour. The benefits of using some aspects of the Positive Behaviour Support model (PBS) are identified through the analysis of one case study in a small school in the North West of England. Further research is suggested to design a model that sets behavioural expectations according to developmental needs and might be contextualised according to specific circumstances of individual schools. It is recommended that BCTs might be presented using colour coded diagrams and pictures to develop through illustrations an accessible definition of acceptable behaviour.
Article
Full-text available
Approximately 5% of school‐aged children will receive the label attention‐deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The majority of these children receive most of their education in the general education classroom, and teachers are confronted with developing accommodations and interventions to meet the academic and social needs of these children. This article describes functional assessment as a method teachers can use to develop classroom accommodations and interventions for children with ADHD. Functional assessment focuses on analyzing environmental variables and determining the outcome a child is attempting to achieve by performing inappropriate behavior. This information helps teachers identify an appropriate behavior that has a similar function. The authors present a rationale for adopting a functional approach and describe the basic stages and steps of functional assessment and various accommodations and interventions for promoting appropriate classroom behavior.
Article
Full-text available
Managing resistance represents a major task for adults who work with children who display challenging behaviors. Some of these children are at risk for emotional and behavioral problems; others display academic difficulties such as those characteristic of learning disabilities. Various interventions have been developed for reducing noncompliant or oppositional behaviors and for getting adults to use clear, direct, specific, and contingent commands. Although these efforts have been met with some success, managing resistance continues to be a major treatment issue. In this article, several factors that inhibit managing resistance effectively are discussed, and options for expanding adults' repertoires of skills are presented.
Article
Full-text available
Surveys investigating teacher preparation program requirements and competencies for training teachers to work with students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) were mailed to 219 directors of E/BD training programs at colleges and universities representing 41 states. A total of 101 surveys from 32 states were returned, for a final response rate of 46%. Information was obtained over two primary areas: E/BD program practices and E/BD program competencies. Results of this survey were mixed. There were some encouraging practices such as offering E/BD programming at the graduate level. E/BD program competencies such as instruction, assessment, and behavior management were taught most frequently. However, there were some areas such as special education law and multicultural issues that received little attention. Other important competencies such as social skills instruction and transition practices were not even mentioned.
Article
Interactive modeling is frequently used in teaching skills to children with developmental delay. This study compared the performance of 12 children (7 males, 5 females; 4—10 years of age) each trained in two tasks, one through interactive modeling (with or without verbal reinforcement) and the other through passive observation. Results showed that passive modeling produced better rated performance than interactive modeling and that verbal reinforcement was counterproductive. These findings suggest that current instructional strategies may need to be reconsidered for children with developmental delay.
Chapter
The ABCs of rational-emotive therapy (RET) go back to its very beginnings in 1955, and I continually used them with my early rational-emotive therapy clients (Ellis, 1962). When the Institute for Rational-Emotive Therapy in New York founded its psychological clinical in 1968, cognitive homework forms were printed for its clients, and they added D and E to the original ABCs (Ellis, 1968). As explained in Chapter 3 of Humanistic Psychotherapy: The Rational-Emotive Approach (Ellis, 1973). A stands for Activating events, Activating experiences, Activities or Agents that people disturb themselves about. B stands for rational Beliefs or realistic Beliefs about the Activating events that tend to lead to a C,appropriate Consequences. IB stands for irrational Beliefs about the Activating events and tends to lead to iC, inappropriate Consequences (especially, emotional disturbances and dysfunctional behaviors). D stands for Disputing irrational Beliefs—Detecting them, Discriminating them from rational Beliefs, and Debating them (Phadke, 1982). E stands for Effective rational Beliefs to replace people’s irrational Beliefs and also for Effective appropriate emotions and Effective functional behaviors to replace their disturbed emotions and dysfunctional behaviors.
Article
A conceptual and procedural alternative to the typical, individual-specific model of social behavior assessment and treatment is offered. This alternative, based upon the social reciprocity of children's interactions, has direct implications for all phases of social behavior interventions designed and implemented for special education students. Our knowledge of social reciprocity suggests that interventions should focus on interactive exchanges, rather than discrete behaviors. Thus this paper presents a conceptual analysis of shortcomings in current treatment approaches and alternative guidelines for selecting students, target behaviors, and intervention strategies to promote increased reciprocity and competence in the social interactions of exceptional children.
Article
Reviews research on the effectiveness of punishment and argues that if punishment is to be better understood and eventually diminished in society, extensive parent, teacher, and family education efforts are needed to change traditional beliefs and approaches to discipline. Professionals can help families and schools move from more punitive childrearing attitudes by developing parent education programs in communities and by encouraging state and national associations to promote positive approaches to discipline. (13 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Employed the techniques of meta-analysis to arrive at a quantitative synthesis of findings from 39 studies searching for aptitude–treatment interactions. Findings indicate that neither modality assessment nor modality instruction were efficacious. Modality preference groups were not as clearly differentiated as assumed. When compared to controls receiving no special instruction, the Ss in the modality preference groups receiving differential instruction exhibited only modest gains. No empirical support was rendered for the modality model. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)