Use more praise than punishment, study tells teachers

TES is reporting that pupils’ concentration improves when teachers use positive praise instead of reprimands, according to new research.

The three-year study of 2,536 children aged between 5 and 12 at schools across three US states, found that in classes where more praise was used, pupils spent longer concentrating on their lesson or task.

Researchers, led by Paul Caldarella at Brigham Young University, Utah, examined the number of praise statements teachers gave, compared with the number of reprimands – the praise-to-reprimand (PRR) ratio – and the impact this had on pupils.

However, Tom Bennett, the Department for Education’s behaviour tsar, said it was a mistake for teachers not to use mild sanctions at times.

Read full article here Use more praise than punishment, study tells teachers

Do you agree with the researchers? Or do you agree with Tom Bennett, that mild sanctions should be used at times? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Emma

Plan to boost numbers of disadvantaged students at Oxbridge could keep middle-class pupils' out
UK's top universities should halve gap between disadvantaged and advantaged students
Categories: Leadership, Primary, Research, Secondary and Teaching.


  1. Anonymous

    It would be wrong to use praise unfairly or when it is undeserved because then the praise loses all value. It is also vital that students know what the rules of the classroom are, know why those rules exist and can accept the reason for them. I realise that this is just a brief summary of the research and that it relates to primary children but in the past I worked in a secondary school with new teachers who tried to follow this principle and ended up praising such trivial things, in the case of some pupils, that they lost the respect of the majority in the class.

Let us know what you think...