The effects of limited private reprimands and increased private praise on classroom behaviour in four British secondary school classes

Stephen Houghton, Kevin Wheldall*, Rod Jukes, Anthony Sharpe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Summary. Four secondary school teachers were systematically observed teaching four different classes. Measures of class on‐task behaviour and teacher use of praise and reprimand were made during each observation session. Following baseline observations, two teachers were asked first to decrease their use of reprimands and to make them more private and then to increase their use of private praise. The other two teachers were asked first to increase their use of private praise and then to add limited use of private reprimands. A multiple baseline design was employed so that one teacher in each pair introduced the intervention one week after the other teacher. Observations of teacher behaviour confirmed that all four teachers were able to comply with these instructions. The results showed clearly that both minimal use of private reprimands and use of private praise statements were effective in increasing the on‐task behaviour of secondary aged pupils in all classes, by an average of over 20 per cent. Follow‐up observations after two months on three classes showed that improved on‐task behaviour was still apparent. 1990 The British Psychological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-265
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
Volume60
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1990

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