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The punishment system; the science of positive and negative reinforcement. Insights from top schools in Bhubaneswar.

Working with students means a lot of hard work. Not only does one have to ensure a good system of teaching but also understand that teachers are a very important part of a child’s developmental years. Of course, there will be delinquent kids who might sometime create a ruckus in class. The best way of controlling such behaviors then is negative or positive reinforcement. It is usually not advisable to straight out punish the child harshly because that may have certain repercussions on the child’s development.


Here’s an insight from top schools in Bhubaneswar on how to reinforce the behavior of students in a classroom.


Positive Reinforcement

The most effective and ethical way to go about ensuring good behavior in a child is positive reinforcement. Whenever a child emits desirable behaviors, s/he should thus be rewarded even if it in a small way. This would then lead the child to create a positive association in his/her mind and the positive behavior will then be reinforced. Here’s how the top schools in Bhubaneswar ensure the process is conducted in the right manner:


  • Targeted praise: Students are more likely to respond well to praise, directed to them. Not only does it reinforce positive behavior but also helps the child feel proud of him/herself. Moreover, this prods other students to pick up the positively reinforced behavior so as to be commended in the same manner.


  • Irregular Rewards: If a student is rewarded every time s/he commits the behavior, s/he would automatically start expecting the reward every time. However, if s/he would be irregular then the expectation of that reward will keep him/her to continue with the behavior.


Negative Reinforcement

It is very easy for even the best school in Bhubaneswar to mistake negative reinforcement for punishment. But the two are very different things. With the former, a teacher is increasing a behavior while with the latter s/he is decreasing that behavior. It can be understood in terms of the stopping of a certain bad behavior due to the removal of a stimulus.


For example, if a student does not comply to the school’s uniform regulations then rather than singling out the child and punishing him/her, it’s advisable to maybe give the student a bad grade. The fear of that bad grade will lead the student to commit a positive behavior instead and it is advisable to reward that with a positive reaction.


Punishment Techniques

If at all it comes down to punishing a child, then there’s again a system and technique to do that. This is how the best school in Odisha employs the correct punishment techniques.

  • Considering whether the student’s behavioral problems are due to a skill-deficit: While sometimes punishing a student is the only solution, it should only be executed with due consideration of whether the student’s behavior is controllable or not. If the student fails to complete a 15-minute task in a 30-minute class then instead of being punished, the child should be taught the skill of time-management.


  • Ensuring the student is not deprived of key opportunities to build social and academic skills: When selecting a strict punishment for the student, the teacher should really consider it’s repercussions. For example, if an anti-social kid commits a wrong behavior and the teacher decides to bar him/her from the play period, then it will further worsen the student’s situation and increase his/her isolation.


Alas, all these are a few things that we as one of the schools in Bhubaneswar bear in mind before employing a positive or negative reinforcement on a student. It’s essential to be considerate because reinforcements can really affect a child’s developmental years.


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