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Adaya Adaya is offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 298
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"Controlling Praise"
Old 07-05-2009, 08:39 PM
Clip to ScrapBook #2

Question: on page 32, the author lists several comments made to students to show the students that she "sees" them and is aware of who they are and what they are doing. Each comment acknowledges that she sees them but none of the comments say good job, well done or I like the way you are doing that.... For those of you who have been through the training or are just really good at this positive talk, is there are reason she just notices and acknowledges what the children are doing rather than telling them that she likes it?
In the resource book from RC2 they talk about this type of language being "controlling praise" and claim it is counterproductive. (Page 9 of the RC2 Resource Book, published in 2008)
"When teachers use this type of praise, children develop extrinsic motivations for learning - they work to please the teacher and earn more praise. Children's intrinsic desire to learn, grow, and be contributing members of a community is actually weakened by controlling praise."
"Another problem with controlling praise... is that it tends to be a response to apparently high-quality outcomes or products. But what about the child how has demonstrated inventive strategies or great persistence in finding answers that aren't one hundred percent correct? "Good try" implies that the child's effort, through commendable, was lacking."

However, this depends on the purpose... If you are using it as Celebratory Praise then it's okay... (Page 11 of the RC2 Resource Book, published in 2008)
"Unlike controlling praise, praise that's meant purely to celebrate a behavior, a trait, or a piece of work can be very effective teacher language. Reading a student's piece of fiction, a teacher is genuinely tickled by the conclusion. "I love the way you ended your story!" she exclaims spontaneously. She doesn't say this to get the student to keep writing good conclusions or to teach the student anything. Rather, she's expressing true appreciation."
"When our purpose is not to affect children's behavior but simply to express delight, one human being to another, general praise can be appropriate. A sincere "good idea!" or What a beautiful drawing!" used for this purpose can build genuine, warm, and mutually respectful relationships among people."

Last edited by Adaya; 07-05-2009 at 09:36 PM..
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