Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2021

Thesis Director

Margaret T. Floress

Thesis Committee Member

Assege HaileMariam

Thesis Committee Member

Anne M. Walk


When used correctly, praise is a simple and effective strategy that can be used by staff school-wide to improve student disruptive behavior. Unfortunately, many teachers report receiving little classroom management training and feeling unprepared to manage student problem behavior. Therefore, having an assessment tool that identifies which educators may benefit from additional training may better guide training and therefore increase educators’ effective use of praise. The present study attempted to revise a previous iteration of the Praise Knowledge Assessment for Teachers and Educators (PKATE), examine educator’s knowledge and attitudes toward praise, and determine whether there is a relation between teachers’ knowledge of praise and their acceptance of the strategy. In total, 206 educators completed the PKATE and the Behavior Intervention Rating System – Praise (BIRS-P). Results indicated that despite improvements, PKATE reliability continued to fall below acceptable limits. Results suggested that the PKATE scores and BIRS-P scores were positively related. On average, educators reported that praise is an acceptable behavior management strategy but demonstrated PKATE scores that fell below expectation. In addition, results indicated a significant positive relation between participants who reported to receive praise from administrators or supervisors and those who reported positive feelings towards their work environment. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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