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According to a report by the Science Daily, praising children instead of criticising or punishing them, increases 30% focus. Praising children is a powerful tool for nurturing their confidence and self-esteem. When you praise your child, you are reinforcing positive behaviours and actions, which helps them develop a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. By acknowledging and appreciating their efforts, you are teaching them to recognise their own successes and feel proud of themselves.

How to use praise Effectively in the Classroom?

Praise in the classroom serves as a potent motivator and positive reinforcement tool. By acknowledging students’ efforts and achievements, teachers can boost their confidence, self-esteem, and intrinsic motivation. Praise fosters a supportive learning environment, encouraging students to persist in their endeavours and take pride in their accomplishments. It reinforces desired behaviours, cultivates a growth mindset, and enhances student engagement and participation. Effective praise not only recognises individual progress but also inspires a sense of achievement and belonging within the classroom community. Ultimately, consistent and genuine praise can significantly impact students’ academic performance, attitude towards learning, and overall well-being.

Understanding Effective Praise

Effective praise in a classroom setting involves providing feedback to students that is specific, genuine, and encourages positive behaviour or academic achievement. It differs from general or non-specific praise in that it targets particular actions, efforts, or accomplishments, rather than making broad statements. Effective praise acknowledges the student’s efforts or progress and highlights what they did well, which helps reinforce desired behaviours and motivates further improvement.

Aspect General Praise Specific Praise
Target Unclear actions that might lead to ambiguous instructions or feedback.  Specific actions, efforts, or achievements
Example “Good job!” “Great work on solving that maths problem!”
Specificity Lacks detail and precision in achieving the desired outcome.  Provides clear details or examples
Impact Less impactful and may be ignored or forgotten (especially in case of children)  More impactful, reinforces desired behaviour
Recognition Often fails to recognise individual efforts Acknowledges individual contributions
Motivation May not effectively motivate or encourage Motivates by highlighting progress


  • Sincerity of the praise ensures genuine connection, fostering trust and rapport between teacher and student. 
  • Specificity reinforces desired behaviours or achievements, providing clear guidance for improvement. 
  • Appropriateness tailors praise to individual efforts, maintaining relevance and fostering a positive learning environment conducive to growth and development.

Benefits of Effective Praise in the Classroom

  • Increased Motivation: Effective praise motivates students by acknowledging their efforts and achievements, encouraging persistence and goal-setting.
  • Enhanced Self-Esteem: Praise boosts students’ self-esteem by validating their skills and successes, fostering confidence and a positive self-perception.
  • Positive Classroom Environment: This praise creates a supportive, encouraging atmosphere that promotes a sense of community, respect, and inclusivity among students.
  • Improved Academic Performance: Praise reinforces positive behaviours and academic endeavours, leading to enhanced learning outcomes and student engagement in their studies.

Strategies for Delivering Effective Praise

Practical Strategies for Effective Praise Delivery:

Behaviour-Specific Praise (BSP):

  • Use behaviour-specific praise to target and acknowledge desired behaviours explicitly.
  • Example: “I appreciate how you helped your classmate with the assignment, Sarah.”

Balanced Praise-to-Reprimand Ratios

Equity-Focused Performance Feedback

  • Monitor and provide feedback on the delivery of praise and discipline practices across diverse students using equity-focused performance feedback. 
  • Example: Ensuring proportionate praise and discipline responses for all students.

Ensuring Equitable and Inclusive Praise

Build Relationships

  • Establish connections with students and families to understand individual needs and backgrounds.
  • Example: Learning about students’ interests and cultural backgrounds to tailor praise effectively.

Diverse Praise Strategies

  • Utilise a variety of praise methods that resonate with different students
  • Example: Using verbal affirmations, written notes, or non-verbal cues based on student preferences.

Feedback Transparency

  • Provide clear and transparent feedback on why praise is given to promote understanding and growth
  • Example: Explaining how a student’s effort contributed to the class’s success.

Balancing Praise with Constructive Feedback

Behaviour-Specific Praise (BSP):

  • Use behaviour-specific praise to acknowledge specific actions or efforts, providing targeted feedback for improvement
  • This approach ensures that praise is meaningful and directly linked to desired behaviours.

Constructive Feedback:

  • Combine praise with constructive feedback to guide students on areas for improvement and growth
  • Frame feedback as an opportunity for learning and development, encouraging students to view failures as stepping stones to success.

Growth Mindset Encouragement:

  • Foster a growth mindset by emphasising effort, resilience, and perseverance alongside praise
  • Encourage students to see challenges as opportunities for growth and learning rather than focusing solely on innate abilities.

Authenticity in Feedback:

  • Be authentic and transparent in providing both praise and feedback to students
  • By sharing successes and failures, creates a culture of openness and continuous improvement.

Balanced Approach:

  • Implement the “liked best/next time” method to balance positive feedback with areas for future improvement
  • This approach ensures that students receive a well-rounded perspective on their performance while maintaining a supportive environment.

Implementing Praise Effectively Across Different Age Groups

Effective praise strategies vary across age groups in education. For early years, simple and immediate praise for specific actions like sharing is beneficial. In primary school, praise for effort and progress helps build confidence. Secondary students benefit from more nuanced praise, linking achievements to personal growth and academic success. Tailoring praise to each age group’s developmental stage and needs is crucial. Adjusting praise strategies to match cognitive abilities and social-emotional development ensures that students feel valued, motivated, and supported throughout their educational journey.

Accessing Resources

Effective praise in the classroom is a powerful tool that can positively impact student motivation, engagement, and academic performance. Teachers should integrate strategies like behaviour-specific praise, balanced feedback, and growth mindset encouragement to create a supportive learning environment. 

It is essential for educators to explore resources like LTF Recruitment’s professional development workshops and the LTF Learning Hub to enhance their teaching practices. By leveraging these resources, teachers can improve their classroom management skills, foster positive relationships with students, and ultimately create a more conducive learning environment for all. Visit LTF Recruitment’s Learning Hub for valuable career advice and professional development opportunities.