Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion

2019

Thesis Director

Margaret T. Floress

Abstract

This study aimed to examine teachers' natural praise and reprimand rates among 66 middle and high school teachers. In addition, teachers' perceptions of how often they praised and reprimanded were compared to their actual use of praise and reprimands. A total of 1,320 direct-observation minutes were collected using 20-min observations for each teacher. After teachers were observed they completed a survey rating their perceived use of praise and reprimand. Teachers were observed to use significantly more general praise compared to behavior specific praise. They were also observed to use significantly more mild reprimands compared to any other type of reprimand. There was a statistically significant positive relation between teachers' actual and perceived use of general praise as well as statistically significant positive relations between teachers' actual and perceived use of mild, gestural, and total reprimand. Finally, there was a significant positive relationship between actual and perceived praise difference and actual and perceived reprimand difference. In other words, teachers that had a greater difference between their actual and perceived praise tended to have a greater difference between their actual and perceived reprimand. Future research directions and implications for teacher praise training to improve classroom management is discussed.

Graduate Program

Psychology

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