Saturday, February 9, 2008

Positive Reinforcement...Friend of Foe?

Friday's class got me thinking about the use of positive reinforcement in the high school and middle school. Can we be "too"positive? Can our positive nature turn students off? Jackie's comment about taking the positive comment as sarcastic got me to think about how we can be positive in a way that actually helps the students.

My search brought me to an educational blog D-Ed Reckoning, which claims, "The primary problem with K-12 education today is the problem of dead reckoning--an estimate based on little or no information. We don't know what a good K-12 education system is because we've never seen one operating. A good education system is one that is capable of educating almost every child" (Derosa, 2007).

Take a look at his blog and specifically this October 8, 2007 post. In it, he talks with a practicing urban teacher who explains, "Negative reinforcement almost never changes peoples' behavior. That's virtually an axiom. If you want to change behavior, you have to organize the environment so that you can reinforce (reward) the behavior you want. The behavior you notice, pay attention to and reward is what you will get more of; positive methods are far more powerful than negative ones" (Derosa, 2007).

Any thoughts?


Derosa, K. (2007). D-ed reckoning. Retrieved February 9, 2008 from

No comments: