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The Effectiveness of Discriminate Praise versus Non-Discriminate Praise in Preschool Age Children

Faculty Supervisor:
Paul Lewis
Year of Project Completion:
Jessica Boese


There is a lot of conflicting evidence about the use of praise in the classroom. Many researchers have indicated that teachers, in the classroom today, are not using praise that is beneficial to students but instead is detrimental, especially in terms of learning and motivation. This study took into consideration some of the literature gaps in providing results on children enjoying and being motivated to do a task with discriminative praise or no praise at all. Results were gathered from three groups of preschool age children. These groups were given either discriminate praise, non-discriminate praise or no praise at all. The results were gathered by experimenters implementing praise and observing reactions. Along with observations, questions about the participants’ enjoyment and ability to do a task was taken. Results found that there were trends toward differences in the enjoyment of the task and the ability, along with self reported intelligence scores. Observations concluded that the no praise group was the most difficult and that praise is a very effective tool in managing a classroom.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.