Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2020

Thesis Director

Margaret T. Floress

Thesis Committee Member

Caridad F. Brito

Thesis Committee Member

Assege HaileMariam

Abstract

Praise is a simple strategy, that when used correctly reduces student inappropriate behavior. Furthermore, praise is a key strategy used within the School-wide Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (SWPBIS) framework. All staff are expected to participate in SWPBIS and therefore, it is important for staff to know how use praise effectively. However, few studies have examined educators’ knowledge of effective praise use. In the current study, 201 educators completed the Praise Knowledge Assessment of Teachers and Educators (PKATE) and the Behavior Intervention Rating System for Praise (BIRS-P). The PKATE was created by the author to assess educators’ knowledge of effective praise use and the BIRS-P assesses praise acceptability (i.e., whether educators find praise to be an acceptable strategy to manage student behavior). On average, educators received a score of 18.76 (range 16.88 - 20.33) on the PKATE, indicating most educators in the current sample had slightly below average praise knowledge. On average, educators received a score of 50.30 (range 49.00 - 51.60) on the BIRS-P, indicating most educators in the current sample found praise to be an acceptable strategy. The PKATE and the BIRS-P were related, although this relation was not significant nor high enough to conduct further interpretation. There were also correlations between administrator praise and PKATE scores and administrator praise and BIRS-P scores, but only the relation between administrator praise and the BIRS-P score was statistically significant. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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