Rewarded by punishment: Reflections on the disuse of positive reinforcement in schools

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most approaches for dealing with student disruptions involve the use of various forms of punishment such as removals from the classroom, fines, restitutional activities, inschool and out-of-school suspensions, and expulsions. Although some of these approaches may make schools safer by removing the offending students, they have little effect on encouraging students to perform socially appropriate behaviors. There are many reasons why educators find punishment a more acceptable approach for managing students' challenging behaviors than positive reinforcement. This article delineates these reasons and argues for educators to plan the occurrence of positive reinforcement to increase appropriate behaviors rather than running the risk of it haphazardly promoting inappropriate behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-186
Number of pages14
JournalExceptional Children
Volume67
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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