Date of Award

12-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Brad Dufrene

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Sterett Mercer

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Daniel Tingstrom

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 4

Joe Olmi

Committee Member 4 Department

Psychology

Abstract

The current study investigated the effects of teacher praise on engagement and work completion of students of typical development. Four students (grades two through four) and their teachers served as participants during the study. Teachers provided specific labeled praise or general praise if students met the engagement criteria while completing math worksheets. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design with a crossover element served to evaluate the differential effects of specific labeled praise or general praise for one pair of students. A concurrent multiple baseline across participants design with a crossover element was used for the remaining pair. A 10-second whole interval recording system measured student engagement percentages during the study while teacher praise was measured utilizing a 10-second partial interval recording system. Math worksheet permanent products determined the percentage of problems completed and were collected daily. Results indicated that specific labeled praise resulted in higher levels of engagement for all students relative to baseline and general praise conditions. Specific labeled praise resulted in the highest number of problems completed for three students. General praise resulted in the highest number of problems completed for the remaining participant.

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