During an observation at Battery Park City School, I found an example. In a class of first graders, when a girl was moving a bean bag chair by herself, a boy classmate walked up to her and helped her move it. As soon as Liz, who is their teacher, saw it, she said, “Oh! Look at him. How gentle he is! You are a gentleman.” In this case, the boy is recognized and feels a sense of pride with what he has done. This helps the boy learn that helping others is a good thing. The teacher’s words are helpful not only for the boy, but also for the rest of students in class. Hearing their teacher praise their classmate for lending a helping hand will help them realize that helping others is a good thing. Through a few words of praise, students could learn what is right and it helps form their personality. In this context, praise is an effective learning method and teaching method.
Alice S. Honig discussed the positive solutions to address typical difficulties. One of the positive solutions mentioned was praise. According to Honig, “Children who are tense may show signs of pressure and frustration, like biting their nails or stuttering. Harsh response will only make children more tense. Instead, find situations in which these children shine, and bolster their self-confidence with Praise. For example, ‘Marques, you did a beautiful job of hanging up your coat!’ ”.
For Gartrell as cited in Meece and Soderman, appropriate praise is one that is “sincere, constructive, and encouraging”. Children tend to flourish when adults take notice and recognize a child’s effort and accomplishments. Recognizing positive changes in a child’s behavior and abilities also helps. Pro-social behavior is developed when the positive results of a child’s behavior on another is pointed out. In promoting a positive verbal environment, praise is used as a means to encourage a child’s intrinsic motivation.
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